In recent days, the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the G-20 took place, the main forum for international economic cooperation, in which the 19 most economically important countries in the world, plus the European Union, participate. It should be remembered that this forum brings together countries and economies that represent two thirds of the world's population, three quarters of total trade and 85% of world GDP.
This Summit was the eighteenth in the history of the organization and took place in New Delhi, India. In Mexico, despite being part of the G-20, the meeting went virtually unnoticed. This is largely due to the absence of the Mexican Head of State who, as is known, usually avoids this type of meeting and prefers to delegate the country's participation to a representative at the cabinet level. At the Summit, some interesting situations occurred from the point of view of global geopolitics that are worth analyzing and commenting on.
First, the absence of the President of China, Xi Jinping, who had recently attended another Summit, that of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), was highlighted. This absence, very notorious for being the first during his administration, was interpreted in two different ways: on the one hand, it could be a certain discomfort with the host country, with whom China has historically had some differences; on the other, it could rather be a signal from the Chinese president of his preferences on the ground in which he wishes to make international policy, thus suggesting that he prefers, or at least feels more comfortable, in a meeting like that of the BRICS, in which he is one of the leading countries and in which he can make international policy with the so-called Global South.
Another interesting result, unexpected one, was the announcement, on the sidelines of the meeting, of the creation of a major trade corridor between India, the Middle East and Europe. This agreement, promoted by India, the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the European Union, consists of an ambitious investment project in land and maritime communications between these regions. The first part of the project will connect India with the Middle East, with significant investments that will link India by sea with the United Arab Emirates and from there by land through Saudi, Arab and Jordanian territory to reach Israel. The second part will connect the Middle East with Europe by sea from Israel to Greece and from there to the entire European Union.
This major railway and port infrastructure project is undoubtedly the Western alternative to China's proposal for a new Silk Road (BRI). If the India-Europe corridor project succeeds, it will represent a major economic and political blow to China, limiting not only the scope of its initiative, but also its global influence through trade and the multibillion-dollar investments it would have made as part of its initiative.
In fact, this was not the only blow that China and its great project received in the framework of the G-20 Summit, since, at that meeting, the Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, announced the withdrawal of her country from the Belt and Road Initiative. Italy's withdrawal from this project is not minor, because this country was the only member of the G-7 that had given its endorsement. Let us remember that the G-7 brings together the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan, as countries that share the principles of a liberal democracy. In that sense, Italy's withdrawal of support for the BRI is a sign of the political realignment that has been taking place in recent years in the wake of, among other things, Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Another way to look at the extent to which the G20 Summit was a political defeat for China is the fact that two of the new countries that had been admitted as part of the BRICS+ just last month, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are actually playing a strategic part in the India-Middle East-Europe Corridor trade alternative. Thus, the BRICS alternative that China seems to favor on the global geopolitical chessboard does not seem to be entirely aligned with its own interests.
Moreover, India, a founding member of the BRICS is at the heart of this whole dispute over the global trade networks of the future and, with the announcement of the new corridor, seems to have chosen to move closer to the West. It is possible that all these situations that we have described help to better understand the reason for the absence of the Chinese leader at the G-20 Summit. Going forward, Mexico and the countries of Latin America will have to carefully assess their steps to follow in a world as complex as the current one.
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