Who is the ‘spoiler’ of the G20 summit in New Delhi?: Global Times editorial

September 9, 2023 —

The 18th G20 Leaders’ Summit will be held this weekend in New Delhi, India. This is the first time India will hold such a large-scale multilateral diplomatic summit. Judging from the preparations, it seems that New Delhi highly values this event, hoping that its status as a “great power” can be enhanced by hosting the G20 summit successfully. But the US and the West, which often claim they “stand with India,” have made great efforts to hype the “differences” between the participating countries of the G20 summit. They want to promote their own agenda to a major world platform for economic cooperation. Some analysts say that this year’s G20 summit in New Delhi may face more noise and a more complex situation than ever, speculating that a joint communiqué may not be issued for the first time in its history.

India has announced six priorities for the G20 summit: green development and climate finance, inclusive growth, digital economy, public infrastructure, technology transformation, and reforms for women empowerment for socio-economic progress. As for the issue that the West is paying the most attention to – the Russia-Ukraine conflict – many media outlets noted that India did not invite the Ukrainian leader to attend this summit.

From this series of arrangements, it is not difficult to see that the Indian side wants to focus the discussion on economic recovery and multilateral diplomacy, which has been the main theme of the G20 platform all along. New Delhi has repeatedly said that the forum is not a place for geopolitical competition. For instance, on the India-China conflict, which the US and the West have been hyping up, Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said, “I would not at all see it the way you would suggest,” when recently asked about this topic by some media.

However, this is not the outcome that the US and the West want. They have shown a tendency of wanting to tear the G20 apart since last year’s summit in Bali, Indonesia. This year, they have intensified their efforts to castrate the G20. A report in The New York Times Chinese edition asked an inflammatory question, “Does the world still need the G20?”

Apart from dividing the Global North and South as well as inciting confrontation between West and East, US and Western public opinion has shown at least two major new characteristics for the upcoming G20 summit. First, they are keeping an eye on the BRICS mechanism after its expansion and hyping up its “conflicts” with the G20 platform. Second, they try to provoke China-India conflicts by using India’s presidency to hype the competition between the dragon and the elephant.

According to messages released by US media, US President Joe Biden is ready to propose a program providing an alternative to China to developing countries at the G20 summit, and the US and Western countries will force the G20 to condemn Russia by threatening to refuse to issue a joint statement. The US and the West want to woo India hard in order to confront China. However, this behavior doesn’t seem supportive of India, but rather stirs up trouble for the country. Now, the US and the West have shown a gloating attitude over some geopolitical divergences, including those between China and India. They want to see deeper division and even fights. Such an unhealthy mindset is the archenemy of global cooperation mechanisms, including the G20.

The danger of the reality is that global problems and challenges continue to intensify, while at the same time, the world’s sense of urgency and unity to overcome difficulties, as well as its will and ability to deal with global challenges, have been weakened by various factors, and people all over the world are becoming more divided. Many have the feeling that it is becoming increasingly difficult for countries to reach a consensus, let alone carry out common actions. The world has high expectations of the G20 and hopes to see some important consensus come from it and some common actions start here.

It should be emphasized that the G20 mechanism, which was born at the time of the 2008 financial crisis, is the result of cooperation between developed and developing economies. The G20 countries represent two-thirds of the world’s population, 85 percent of global GDP, and more than 75 percent of international trade. The mechanism used to see many highlights, including the help it provided to deal with the 2008 crisis and the announcement that the leaders of China and the US will sign the Paris Agreement before the 2016 G20 Summit. These results benefit not only developing countries, but also the US and the West enormously.

However, after that, which country has frequently “withdrawn” from various global cooperation mechanisms? Who is building a “small yard and high fence?” Who is promoting bloc confrontation in the international arena? Who is stirring up trouble around the world and undermining normal cooperation? The countercurrents caused by these movements around the world have inevitably affected the global cooperation mechanism, including the G20. Before the summit, Washington inexplicably issued a “warning” to China, urging it not to “play the role of spoiler” at the G20 summit. In this regard, we would like to say that these words are quite accurate if we swap China with the US.

Last year, the G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration was announced and hard-won results were achieved under Indonesia’s G20 presidency. We hope that this year’s G20 summit in New Delhi will eliminate disruptions and become a success story, and that we can eventually see a joint statement that builds consensus. It is the duty of every G20 member to let the mechanism continue playing the role of a platform for seeking common ground while reserving and resolving differences, striving for mutual benefits and win-win results, and injecting confidence and certainty into the stability of the global economy. It is not only the expectation of developing countries, but also in the long-term interests of the US and Western countries to let consensus transcend differences and gather strength through cooperation.

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