The Ukrainian crisis used as an excuse
The United States and some of its allies have stunned and angered other countries over the past month as they walked out of major global economic forums such as the G20 and APEC in the name of boycotting Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.
Senior officials and academics from countries like China have opposed such walkouts, saying they are turning co-op platforms into “weapons” for the West’s own cliques, furthering the fragmentation of the world and sabotaging viable avenues to combat the global economic downturn.
As a multilateral platform linking the world’s major developed and emerging economies, the G20 represents approximately over 80% of global GDP, 75% of international trade and 60% of the world’s population.
US, Canadian and British officials left the meeting of G20 finance ministers in Washington DC on April 20 as Russian delegates spoke.
In an interview with CNN, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, finance minister of Indonesia, the host country of the G20 this year, said his country had received “a lot of sympathy” as many G20 members said privately that “they want this cooperation to be a leading economic forum for collaboration…to be continued”.
Another walkout took place on Saturday as representatives from the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand left the meeting of trade representatives of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation grouping in Bangkok, Thailand, host of this year’s APEC meetings.
The meeting also failed to issue a joint statement, which “is the last thing China and many other APEC members hope to see,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Monday. .
All parties should “respect the nature of APEC as an economic forum and the mandate of the meeting itself, focus on economic and trade issues and avoid introducing geopolitical issues”, Wang added.
“The momentum of politicizing global economic forums and using them as ‘weapons’ is growing, and US-led countries may even do more in the near future,” said Zhu Jiejin, Professor of Global Governance Studies at Fudan University. School of International Relations and Public Affairs.
“Washington and some of its allies are trying to narrow and create divisions within the G20 and APEC by replacing these forums with their own cliques and agendas, like the new ‘Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.’ is pure selfishness,” Zhu said.
In a May 10 speech, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, warned of a world “that could fragment into ‘economic blocs’, creating barriers to cross-border flows of capital, goods, services, ideas and technologies”.
Experts said it was ironic and deplorable that Washington was disrupting the workings of the G20, a major global forum it initially sought to deal with the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008.
Vasuki Shastry, an associate fellow in the Asia-Pacific program at Chatham House, warned that “the fight for continued Russian participation is likely to consume political capital and seriously damage the ability of the group to deliver on its promises to the world.” over the next two years”.
“A return to the pre-2008 world order, when the G7 was the only game in town, seems inevitable, but would be profoundly unrepresentative of the global economy today,” Shastry wrote in a post on the site. Forbes last month.
Xu Xiujun, director of the Department of International Political Economy of the Institute of Global Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said: “The main venues for multilateral coordination, such as the G20 and APEC , should have played a more important role and better lived up to the expectations and needs of the international community.
“However, the United States and some other Western countries are still moving away from the global mainstream as they push to politicize these multilateral bodies and use them as tools and weapons, thus causing the bodies to malfunction in some cases. Such practices had started long before the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis,” Xu said.
“Rising populism and widening wealth gaps at home have given rise to serious social problems, prompting their governments to adopt a tougher approach abroad to shift blame to other nations,” added Xu. “This is how the developed countries made the vital mistake in the first place.”
As a sign of strengthening global unity, the Foreign Ministries of Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand issued a rare joint press release on May 4 in their respective capacities as host countries of the Association’s meetings. Southeast Asian, G20 and APEC nations this year.
“As chairs of these important meetings this year, we are committed to working with all of our partners and stakeholders to ensure a spirit of cooperation,” the statement said.
China firmly supports Indonesia in its role as chairman of the G20 and eliminates interference to achieve the goals set on the agenda and lead the G20 in the right direction, the State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday. Wang Yi in a telephone conversation with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.
The UN Security Council is the right platform to discuss political and security issues, while the G20 should remain committed to focusing on macroeconomic policy coordination and fulfilling its mission, Wang said.
In an opinion piece published in the Bangkok Post on May 12, Korn Chatikavanij wrote: “The West must also realize that its narrative is not necessarily considered received wisdom in Asia.
“Their boycott and disengagement would leave a vacuum that would be filled by alternative views that could further reduce Western influence in this region.”
Yang Baoyun, professor of ASEAN studies at Thammasat University in Bangkok, said behind the confusion at major global forums lies the starkly different ways between developing countries – like China – and Western countries. led by the United States to address globalization and the global economy. growth.
“The United States and some of its allies are obsessed with confrontation and bloc-based cliques that are unconstructive, disruptive, and target what they antagonize. Yet China is determined to keep economic globalization afloat and build a community with a shared future for mankind,” Yang said. “Furthermore, a growing number of developing countries have a clearer picture of what is happening.”
Arsjad Rasjid, president of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the G20 “should not be turned into another battleground for great power rivalry” at a time when most countries are currently in struggling with inflation and shortages and “the global post-pandemic recovery looks fragile”.
“Without addressing the global economic downturn, peace cannot be assured. All forums for communication must remain open, especially in times of mistrust,” he wrote in a byline article in the South China Morning Post on May 13. China Daily