G20-Gipfel: Indien will als künftige Weltmacht Eindruck hinterlassen

Shortly after the memorable BRICS meeting in Johannesburg, the heads of state and government of the G20 are gathering in Delhi this weekend. Almost all BRICS-plus aspirants are present, with the exception of Ethiopia and Iran. Brazil, India, South Africa, China, and Russia are part of the current circle of permanent BRICS members, while Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates belong to the future circle. Thus, in the Indian capital, the „West“ encounters the „Anti-West“, as states from the Global North confer with some of the leading nations from the Global South.

Ohne Wladimir Putin und Xi Jinping

Two politicians, however, will shine through their absence – Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. For the President of China, the relations with host India are burdened by tensions. He also seems to have little inclination to meet US President Joe Biden, so Premier Li Qiang will lead the Chinese delegation. Xi does not even want to participate via video conference. A certain compensation is expected to be the Belt and Road Forum scheduled in Beijing in October, to which all countries participating in China’s „New Silk Road“ initiative are invited. Russia’s head of state has also confirmed his attendance, while it seems that no high-ranking envoy from Western industrialized countries will be present. If the leaders of the US and China seek an opportunity for a meeting, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in November would provide such a chance, as both world powers are members.

Because the United Nations Security Council no longer functions in making decisions about war and peace, effectively nullifying the United Nations‘ authority to use force, the G20 format appears more important than ever. At least it is the only forum where the G7 and BRICS countries can still engage in dialogue and seek understanding.

This week, there were also several regional conferences where groups of countries expressed their opinions that certainly did not leave the G20 unaffected. At a climate summit in Nairobi, African countries conferred on a common strategy for energy transition and climate protection. Some of them have left the US and the EU far behind in the transition to renewable energy. At the same time, ASEAN countries met in Jakarta to strongly criticize China. This was due to recently published maps in Beijing that blatantly shifted maritime boundaries. Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Brunei expressed their dissatisfaction with these claims more or less strongly. They probably did so knowing that ASEAN has been negotiating disputed territorial issues in the South China Sea with China for 20 years without any tangible results. By the way, Russia refrained from any reaction when China claimed an island on paper in the Ussuri River.

Erfolge als Raumfahrtnation

India, on the other hand, rarely holds back when it comes to border corrections. Most recently, in 2020, a small border war with China was fought over a disputed territory in the Himalayas, resulting in casualties on both sides. Conflicts like these can erupt and escalate at any time, as demonstrated by the example of Kashmir. However, as the host of this G20 summit, India is expected to exercise restraint. The government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has a strong interest in presenting itself as a future global leader. The recent successes in space exploration only add to this image. India is now the most populous country and its economy gives the impression of an emerging giant, with growth rates currently surpassing those of China. Both the Western G7 countries and emerging economies are vying for India’s favor. One thing is unlikely: that the heads of state and government gathered in Delhi will find a way out of the current global chaos.