CNN has reported on the situation in New Delhi.
The leaders who gathered here for the annual Group of 20 summit agreed on a joint statement that expressed shared views on climate change and economic development, but were unable to explicitly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Diplomats had been working tirelessly to draft a final joint statement for the summit, but faced difficulties in expressing their views on the Ukraine war. The compromise statement was essentially aimed at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, yet it still showed softer attitudes than those of the United States and its Western allies.
During his two-night stay in India for the summit, Joe Biden aimed to convince the world’s largest economies to support Ukraine. He also lobbed for American investment in developing countries.
The leaders acknowledged the situation in Ukraine through a joint declaration, but did not touch on the group’s significant divisions, as the summit was still taking place on Saturday.
The declaration stated that “no state can seek territory acquisition by force or threat,” but did not specifically blame Russia for its invasion. The document also emphasized the economic consequences of the war and declared against the use of nuclear weapons.
The statement acknowledged the disparities among the G20 nations and recognized that they had differing opinions and assessments of the situation.
The United States lauded the announcement. US national security advisor Jake Sullivan characterized it as a significant milestone for India’s leadership and affirmed that the G20 can work together to address pressing matters.
The G20 statement contains important paragraphs that discuss the war in Ukraine, and Sullivan believes they effectively defend the principle that states cannot use force to acquire territory.
Nonetheless, the language was unlike the G20 declaration from the previous year, which stated that “most members strongly denounced the war in Ukraine.”
Russia, being a G20 member, would need to come to an agreement on implementing if the resolution was made about Ukraine. The difficulty of reaching severance agreements is due to the resistance from China and Russia in favor of stronger language in preparing the final statement. No G-20 summit has been completed without requiring coordinating declarations.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman in Ukraine, Oleg Nikolenko, expressed disapproval of the statement.
The Ukrainian government is appreciative of the partners who made sure to include strong language in the text, according to his Facebook post. He also noted that the G20 should not have been burdened by Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Participation from the Ukrainian side would have provided participants with a more comprehensive understanding of what had happened. The principle of nothing without Ukraine remains paramount.
The White House officials stated that Biden’s absence from the summit of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin gave him the opportunity to present a more favorable argument at the event, which was taking place in New Delhi.
Biden stated on Saturday that he would have been pleased to see his Chinese counterpart at the summit, but acknowledged that it could result in favorable outcomes.
When asked about Xi’s absence, Biden responded that it would be beneficial to have him present, but the summit is proceeding smoothly.
Biden intended to use the occasion to present the United States as a credible counterweight to China’s economic initiatives.
He unveiled new proposals to construct a major new transit corridor with partner nations in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, which would challenge Beijing’s own endeavors to expand global trade.
He announced new changes and investments in the World Bank, which the White House claims could provide a different economic opportunity to China in developing nations by providing billions of dollars in grants and loans.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted Biden and shakes his hand in a smile at the summit’s attendees.
Modi urged the world to unite and transform the global trust deficit into a one of trust and reliance, calling on everyone to do so.
He stressed the need for a lasting solution to address various issues such as the separation between North and South, the gap between East and West, food and fuel security, terrorism, cyber security threats, health, energy, and water security for future generations.
The message of solidarity was sent during a time of significant division within the group.
Despite Biden’s successful efforts at other summits, other nations, particularly in the Global South, have been less convinced.
They are wary of the Western aid pouring into Ukraine and have sought a more equal relationship with Moscow.
According to Biden’s aides, the president is pleased with the chance to continue advocating for Ukraine to non-partisan audiences.
The G20 is a desirable platform for the United States to engage in constructive dialogue with different countries, including those that we don’t share many views on specific issues, according to US deputy national security adviser Jon Finer.
What other options are there instead of China’s Belt and Road?
Biden intends to showcase the US’s commitment to developing nations by utilizing recent announcements about new investments and infrastructure as an alternative to China.
He announced on Saturday the start of a new economic corridor connecting India, the Middle East, and Europe. These plans have the potential to change the global trade landscape and directly challenge China’s extensive overseas development program, known as the Belt and Road, which has invested billions of dollars in infrastructure every year.
On Saturday, Biden signed a memorandum of understanding with the leaders of India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the European Union, outlining the new project.
While the president stated that the project would involve the creation of a comprehensive infrastructure, he stressed that it was not solely about creating tracks and spoke with international leaders such as the United Kingdom, Japan, and the UAE.
Biden stressed the importance of creating jobs, boosting trade, strengthening supply chains, and improving connectivity to support commerce and food security across multiple nations. He also noted the potential for significant growth through regional investment.
According to Biden, investing in low middle income countries benefits all nations, while investing into emerging economies benefits everyone and investing for the future benefits people everywhere.
The plans may impede China’s Belt and Road initiative, which the US claims employs coercive lending methods for infrastructure projects in developing nations, an accusation that Beijing has denied. Biden’d proposals for World Bank reform also aim to provide a superior deal to emerging economies.
During his speech at the event, Biden focused on specific leaders to thank, including bin Salman. The leaders exchanged handshakes afterwards, which was a departure from the fist bump offered by BiDEN to the prince during his trip to Saudi Arabia last summer.
Sullivan spoke to reporters in India before the announcement, explaining that the project’s objective was to strategically integrate transformative investments across various sectors and leverage the wider effects of boosting economic development, securing supply chains, and bolstering regional connectivity.
He referred to it as a significant and important event that would lead to definite results.
The absence of Xi gave Biden an implicit opening to demonstrate continued American loyalty while raising doubts about China’s leadership. It wasn’t immediately evident to American officials why he didn’T attend the G20 for the first time.
Finer stated that the Chinese government must clarify the rationale behind a leader’s participation or non-participation, although it may not be entirely clear.