Every three years, the addition of new countries at FOCAC (this year it was Burkina Faso, The Gambia, and Sao Tome and Principe), the upgrading of existing relationships, and the announcements of new financing commitments that dwarf those of other donors highlight the exponential growth in China-Africa relations and the growing importance of China in the geopolitics of development. This is defined as the system and processes by which norms of and approaches to development aid are negotiated between states at the global level.
As the Group of 20 (G20) leaders assemble in Hamburg for their 12th summit on July 7-8, 2017, many wonder whether G20 summitry is worth the time and trouble, especially amidst the high profile divisions between German chancellor Angela Merkel’s open, cooperative Europe and President Donald Trump’s protectionist United States. Even if at Hamburg G20 leaders manage to make clear commitments, many doubt that they will actually deliver them once they leave their sunny global summit peak and return to the dark, distracting valleys of domestic politics back home.
WHAT IS THE G20?
The G20 is an international group initially founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis as a forum for the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries and the European Union. In 2008, in the midst of the global financial crisis, the US President George W. Bush invited the leaders of the G20 members to coordinate actions in order to respond to the crisis giving the start to the actual G20 Leader’s Summit. Since 2010 the meeting is held annually and the host country change every year.
Officially announced by president Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has since become the centrepiece of China’s economic diplomacy.
It is a commitment to ease bottlenecks to Eurasian trade by improving and building networks of connectivity across Central and Western Asia, where the BRI aims to act as a bond for the projects of regional cooperation and integration already in progress in Southern Asia.
But it also reaches out to the Middle East as well as East and North Africa, a truly strategic area where the Belt joins the Road. Europe, the end-point of the New Silk Roads, both by land and by sea, is the ultimate geographic destination and political partner in the Belt and Road Initiative.
This report, edited by Alessia Amighini, provides an in-depth analysis of the BRI, its logic, rationale and implications for international economic and political relations.
Reaching some sort of global order has been a recurring temptation for the governments of the world’s great powers. It is the nature of things, and this temptation grew even more when the end of the Cold War brought some to regret the “certainties” that came with the clear conflict between East and West.
While the summit of the world's twenty major economies is approaching, the United Nations 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) is about to turn one year old. Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets set the scene for economic, environmental, and social progress over the next 15 years.
The G20 – comprising 19 countries and the EU, with representatives from the Bretton Woods institutions and established just at the turn of the century - provides a new way forward for transnational governance that works for not only China, but also for 19 other major economies.
Wang Wen, Executive Dean, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China (RDCY).