By Aneri Upadhyay
This year’s annual G20 summit aimed to address the war in Ukraine, American-Chinese trade relationship and economic struggles following the recent pandemic. Although discussions took place revolving around these topics, only a few agreements were made.
The summit took place in Bali, Indonesia and was hosted by President Joko Widodo, according to the World Economic Forum. Widodo had said that he hoped the summit this year would “build a healthier, more just and more sustainable order” after Covid-19.
The countries involved in the summit control more than 80% of the world’s gross domestic product and 60% of the earth’s population. The summit was first created to discuss financial issues in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis.
The summit allows for powerful and developing countries to meet and discuss issues affecting them, offering unique perspectives based on the circumstances of each country.
The leaders and heads of state arrived a day before the summit was to start. Most countries that reserved their position at the summit arrived within this time frame.
Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden met before the start of the G20 summit in a three hour conversation, the contents of which remain mostly unknown.
What is known, however, is that Xi and Biden discussed Taiwan and US-China relations. According to Reuters, Xi believes that Taiwan is the “first red line” that cannot be crossed by the United States. This tension is due to China’s desire to control Taiwan and Xi’s belief that the United States is protecting its independence, therefore being against China.
Additionally, Xi and Biden want to resolve the issues between China and the United States peacefully. As stated by CNN, Xi told Biden that “China-US relations should not be a zero-sum game because the world is big enough for the two countries to coexist.”
As reported by Reuters, the summit began with Widodo launching a Pandemic Fund. It focused on how Covid-19 impacted many countries that were not prepared to handle the severity of it and raised $1.4 billion. The fund will help countries manage and deal with future pandemics and health situations. Money was raised by Indonesia, the US and the European Union, as well as donors and charitable organizations.
One change implemented due to the summit involves the global climate change problem that has been worsening in recent years. According to Earth, the G20 aims to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5oC.
The United States, European Union, Japan, Canada and five European countries promised to give $20 billion to Indonesia as well, in attempts to expand renewable energy and wean off the use of fossil fuels and coal.
Grita Anindarini, a member of the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law, addressed the need for equity in the climate fund.
“We can say that the deal will be credible if [transparency, human rights, and economic justice] are included,” said Anindarini.
As reported by Foreign Policy, Russian President Vladimir Putin was invited to attend the G20 summit but declined the invitation. Russia was still represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and later Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.
In terms of Russia and Ukraine, Xi stated in the meeting with Biden that he was concerned about the situation in Ukraine and will keep encouraging peace talks. According to CNBC, both leaders were against the idea of using nuclear weapons.
Despite the peace talks, Biden is prepared for an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.
“Look, I think the United States is better prepared than any country in the world economically and politically, to deal with the changing circumstances around the world,” Biden stated during a press conference.
The effects of the conversations that took place at the G20 summit are still to be seen but no new tensions arose.