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G20 Summit: China Fails To Block US From Assuming G20 Presidency In 2026, Deepens Rift With Washington


New Delhi: China made an unsuccessful attempt to oppose the US from hosting the G20 summit in 2026 in America as its voice was not carried at the New Delhi summit and it only helped to widen the chasm of distrust between the US and China, media reports said. China opposed plans for the US to host G20 in 2026, officials said, adding Beijing unsuccessfully sought to delete reference to America’s presidency from this year’s declaration.

US media reports said that China opposed publicised its plans for the US to host G20 in 2026 on twitter, on Facebook and LinkedIn, on all the social media platforms it could grab at the New Delhi summit. China used its diplomatic meetings at New Delhi to challenge the planned US presidency of the G20 in 2026, officials not willing to be identified claimed.

Chinese officials exploited diplomatic meetings at the G20 summit in New Delhi this week to block US assuming the rotating chairmanship of the group of leading economies, the officials said, adding, however the attempt ultimately failed. As China attempted to block the US, the dispute over who will host the G20 in 2026 saw Sino-American strong differences on many global issues inflamed at the G20 meetings.

This also predominantly included Russia’s war against Ukraine and the global efforts to combat climate change which had unleashed unprecedented floods and heat across several countries last year. The rotating G20 presidency is usually bereft of any controversies and involves agenda prioritisation for the group’s discussions that year, media reports said.

Chairing ministerial meetings and hosting the leaders’ summit, is typically an noncontroversial process that follows a loose schedule, media reports said.

The reports said that the Chinese diplomats called for this year’s G20 summit declaration to delete a reference to the expected US presidency in 2026, according to people concerned with the drafting of the Delhi Declaration of the G20 summit in New Delhi. Western countries, including the UK, opposed the Chinese move, and the phrase was included in the final version adopted by leaders, the report said. 

“We look forward to meeting again in Brazil in 2024 and in South Africa in 2025, as well as in the United States in 2026 at the beginning of the next cycle,” the joint statement said.

A spokesperson for China was not immediately available for comment on whether it was objecting to the US chairing the G20. Jake Sullivan, US National Security Adviser, told reporters on Saturday:

“On the issue of China, all I can say is that the communiqué is done, the reference to the United States as the host of 2026 is part of it, and China has agreed that, all of the G20 members have agreed that and we’re gratified by that.”

Officials said that China’s stance had shocked diplomats from other countries thus exposing the deep mistrust between the two superpowers. The Chinese arguments against the US were “not G20-related issues”, one of the officials said on condition of anonymity.

It must be noted that the G20 has no permanent secretariat. Brazil will assume the presidency next year followed by South Africa in 2025. After 2025 each of the member countries would have ended up hosting a summit. Then a new cycle begins, media reports said.

The first G20 was held in Washington in 2008. The US demonstrated strongly its commitment to the G20 grouping thus pitching for its presidency in 2026.  Of late, the G20 grouping has been roiled by the geopolitical divisions created by Russia’s invasion and war against Ukraine.

“We look forward, ourselves, to hosting the G20 in 2026. And even without Russia’s active participation and the tensions the war has created, I still see the G20 as highly effective,” Janet Yellen, the US Treasury Secretary said.

Chinese president Xi Jinping skipped the G20 summit in New Delhi, the first time any Chinese leader has done so. Beijing has insisted on taking a positive approach to the grouping. On whether China’s objections on issues such as Ukraine and climate change held up a joint statement from the G20 at any point, a foreign ministry spokesperson said Beijing was ready to cooperate with other parties under the principle of “consensus building”, the media reports said.

The G20 is the apex body for international economic co-operation. China attaches high importance to and actively participates in G20 activities.


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