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China slams US’s G20 host proposal – Now what?

In this post:

  • China opposes the US’s planned presidency of the G20 in 2026, deviating from a conventionally uncontroversial process.
  • Chinese diplomats sought to remove mention of the US’s expected 2026 G20 presidency from official documents.

The stage is set, and the rift between China and the US has now taken on a new dimension. We aren’t talking about their stand on global challenges such as the Russia-Ukraine crisis or climate change, but something that typically wouldn’t raise eyebrows: The 2026 G20 presidency. When it’s about China and the US, even the traditional is set to become tumultuous.

Challenging a Convention

China, in its characteristic assertive style, has called into question the US’s anticipated role as the host for the G20 summit in 2026. Until now, the allocation of this rotating presidency – a seemingly administrative task involving defining the agenda and orchestrating the annual convergence of the world’s major economies – was an unspoken agreement among member nations. It followed a predictable rhythm, free of the drama that now surrounds it.

The G20’s roster of hosts has seen each member state take its turn, and after South Africa’s turn in 2025, the wheel was supposed to turn to the US, completing the cycle since the group’s inception in 2008. However, Chinese diplomats, seemingly undeterred by this established progression, made their discontent clear. They aimed to eliminate any mention of the US’s expected presidency in 2026 from this year’s G20 summit declaration.

This defiant stance left many diplomats taken aback. Their surprise wasn’t just about this deviation from convention, but the underlying fact that China’s concerns were beyond the realm of G20 discussions. It almost felt like China was bringing personal qualms to a professional setting.

Behind China’s Move

While China’s exact motivation remains elusive, the general sentiment indicates that they are at odds with the US’s commitment to the G20, especially in the wake of Russia’s aggressive moves in Ukraine. Janet Yellen, the US treasury secretary, expressed her anticipation for the US to host the 2026 G20, emphasizing its importance amidst the challenges posed by Russia’s actions.

China’s absence at the G20 summit this year was marked by President Xi Jinping’s decision to skip the event, an unprecedented move by any Chinese leader. It’s clear that China is treading carefully, selectively participating in global discussions. Their official stance seems to lean on the idea of “consensus building,” yet their actions suggest a tactical distancing.

Adding more friction to their icy relations, China’s spy agency has recently criticized the US’s diplomatic advances towards China, terming it a blend of engagement and containment. With hints of a potential Xi-Biden meeting in the balance, the message from Beijing is clear: Washington needs to show more “sincerity” if it hopes to mend ties.

So, What Now?

This latest episode at the G20 only adds to the ever-growing list of disagreements between these two world superpowers. And while it’s tempting to dismiss this as yet another bureaucratic skirmish, it reflects the broader mistrust and misalignment between Beijing and Washington.

The ball is in the court of the international community. Will they side with tradition and the unspoken rotation of the G20 presidency? Or will China’s concerns lead to a revision of this established order?

While the answer remains to be seen, one thing is clear: when it comes to China and the US, even the most mundane decisions can’t escape the shadow of their ongoing rivalry. As the two giants continue to lock horns, the world watches, waits, and wonders about the future of global diplomacy.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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