LONDON (Reuters) - Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven wealthy nations on Wednesday agreed to expand and strengthen the rapid response mechanism it uses to fight threats to democracy such as disinformation.
Meeting face-to-face for the first time in two years the G7 ministers in London scolded both China and Russia, casting the Kremlin as malicious and Beijing as a bully.
"Foreign malign actors persist in their attempts to undermine democracies, and some states seek to promote their own authoritarian systems of governance and geopolitical objectives," said a policy paper released following the meeting.
"The G7 is committed to working together to show global leadership and take action to expose and deter these actors and to defend democracy."
Russia denies it is meddling beyond its borders and says the West is gripped by anti-Russian hysteria. China says the West is a bully and that its leaders have a post-imperial mindset that makes them feel they can act like global policemen.
The G7 committed to strengthen ties of its so-called 'Rapid Response Mechanism' with other international partners, including NATO.
"We commit to bolster our collective capabilities by joining up with the valuable work of other organisations and forums, including NATO," a separate communique said.
Other new objectives included an annual report to raise awareness of the mechanism and its work, better analytical tools and information exchange, and seeking a shared definition of what constitutes "illegitimate activity in the information space."
(Reporting by William James. Editing by Andrew MacAskill)