China hopes virtual G20 summit to build consensus for global challenges, economic recovery: FM

China has called for the G20 to further strengthen its partnership and build consensus to address global challenges and make positive contributions to world economic recovery and common development, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a routine press briefing on Tuesday, who earlier announced that Premier Li Qiang will attend the virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit on Wednesday at the invitation of India.

In September, the G20 New Delhi Summit reached important consensus on taking action through partnership, Mao said on Tuesday. She noted that given the turbulent international situation and the lack of impetus for world economic recovery, it is all the more important for the G20 to further strengthen its partnership, work together to address global challenges and make positive contributions to world economic recovery and common development.

Leaders of all G20 members, including the chair of the African Union, as well as nine guest countries, and the heads of 11 international organizations, have been invited, according to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

On Monday the Kremlin said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will set out Russia’s view of what it sees as the “deeply unstable world situation” when he addresses the upcoming virtual G20 summit.

Reuters reported Monday that it would be the “first event in a long time” to includeboth Putin and Western leaders. According to the Moscow Times on Sunday, Putin did not travel to the last two G20 meetings – hosted by India in September and Indonesia last year – instead sending Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in his place.

After marathon negotiations, the New Delhi G20 summit finally managed to reach a joint declaration on September 10, avoiding the embarrassment of a fruitless summit. The virtual summit will take forward key outcomes and action points from the September summit as well as review developments since then. The deliberations of the second edition of the Voice of Global South Summit, held virtually on November 17 by India, will also feed into the discussions.

The Hindustan Times, citing people familiar with the matter, reported on Saturday that the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Ukraine crisis are anticipated to be discussed at the virtual G20 summit. Unlike the in-person summit in September, an outcome document such as a leaders’ declaration is not expected.

According to several Indian media reports, India will focus on the challenges facing the Global South or developing countries.

Over the past few years, India has been trying to position itself as a “leader” that addresses the concerns and challenges of countries in the Global South, particularly in Africa, observers said.

As the rotating chair of the G20 this year, India hosting two G20 summits within one year highlights its desire to be seen as a “great power,” Lin Minwang, deputy director at the Center for South Asian Studies of Fudan University, told the Global Times Tuesday.

India hopes to attract global attention through these low-cost, high-frequency international conferences, Lin said. He believes that another important purpose of India hosting the summits is to serve its domestic political agenda. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to shape himself as a global leader through these summits, increasing his political leverage for the upcoming elections next year.”

An expert on India-related issues, who requested anonymity, pointed out that holding an online summit after a regular one is a rare move.

India has always wanted to strengthen its leadership position among Global South countries, especially after announcing the formal inclusion of the African Union into the G20, and including the topic of the Global South voice in the virtual summit, which clearly indicates its “great power dream,” said the anonymous expert.

But he remarked that whether India can achieve its goal of enhancing international influence through this virtual summit remains to be seen.

(Global Times)

 

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