Title: President Biden Attends G20 Summit in India, Aims to Counter China’s Influence
In a significant diplomatic move, President Joe Biden attended the Group of 20 (G20) summit held in New Delhi this week, while the leaders of China and Russia chose to stay home. With the absence of China’s President Xi Jinping and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Biden had the opportunity to take center stage at the summit, reinforcing his administration’s goals of countering Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region and pressuring Russia to end its ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
China’s President Xi Jinping’s decision to skip the summit, marking the first time in a decade, has left foreign policy analysts perplexed. Xi’s absence limits the prospects of resolving long-standing disputes, including trade issues, navigation concerns in the South China Sea, and the delicate status of Taiwan. The absence of both Xi and Putin provides President Biden with an advantageous opportunity to address these issues without having to face potential pushback from these leaders.
During the summit, President Biden unveiled an array of ambitious infrastructure projects in collaboration with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The initiatives are primarily focused on supporting poorer nations and providing an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, with the aim of countering China’s growing influence in the region. By working closely with India, the world’s largest democracy, Biden hopes to strengthen ties and create a united front against China’s expanding global reach.
One key aspect that garnered attention during the summit was President Biden’s interactions with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The President faced criticism for shaking hands with bin Salman, who has been implicated in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This move may potentially lead to a backlash as it raises questions about the administration’s stance on human rights and its willingness to hold individuals accountable for their actions.
Another important development at the summit was the issuance of a joint statement on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, compared to last year’s statement, this year’s declaration was relatively weaker, signaling a more diplomatic approach instead of outright condemnation. While the statement emphasized the importance of resolving the conflict peacefully, critics argue that it falls short in holding Russia accountable for its actions.
President Biden’s attendance at the G20 summit in New Delhi and his strategic partnerships with world leaders mark a significant step in his administration’s efforts to counter Chinese influence and address ongoing global challenges. By seizing this unique opportunity amidst the absence of their counterparts, the United States aims to strengthen alliances, promote democratic values, and address critical issues that impact the international community.