Top diplomats from Group of Seven countries have telegraphed what is likely to be in a joint statement released at the conclusion of a foreign ministers’ summit, with officials calling unity “extremely important” as challenges in Asia such as rising Chinese assertiveness — especially around Taiwan — threaten to divide the grouping.

The G7 ministers gathered for a second day of meetings in the mountain resort of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, on Monday after earlier highlighting the need for a united front in the Indo-Pacific region and in intensifying and fully enforcing sanctions on Russia as its bloody invasion of Ukraine continues.

The calls for unity came in the wake of stunning comments earlier this month by French President Emmanuel Macron, who said there was a need for European "strategic autonomy" on the issue of Taiwan amid fears some could be dragged into a conflict between the U.S. and China over the fate of the self-ruled island.