What is happening?
On Tuesday, leaders of the G20 nations – the world’s major economies – will gather in Bali, Indonesia, for an annual summit overshadowed by the presence of Russia during its war in Ukraine. Although President Vladimir Putin has pulled out, Russia will be represented by his veteran foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.
The Group of 20 – made up of 19 countries plus the European Union – accounts for nearly two-thirds of the global population, 85% of the world’s economic output and 75% of world trade.
As of 2022, there are 20 members in the group: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.
What are the key issues?
As well as keynote speeches by world leaders, a host of bilateral talks will be held against the background of global tensions that include the invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing global economic fallout, the climate crisis, North Korea’s simmering nuclear programme, and China’s increasing global ambitions.
It is the biggest gathering by the group of leaders since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and Indonesia – as host state – has set an agenda that focuses on the economic recovery from the pandemic, global health measures and sustainable energy.
What is the key meeting to watch?
Although not strictly a G20 meeting, Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, will meet in Bali on Monday afternoon for their first face-to-face meeting as leaders. Biden – who now carries considerably more political capital after the results of the US midterm elections – has said he would seek to establish red lines in the US-China relationship that allow competition and coexistence. He is also expected to warn against an invasion of Taiwan, and efforts to restrict navigation of the South China sea.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden would be “totally straightforward and direct” with Xi and expects the same in return. Officials say he will push China to rein in ally North Korea after a record-breaking spate of missile tests sent fears soaring that Pyongyang will soon carry out its seventh nuclear test.
Xi may be in no mood to help. He enters the meeting buoyed from recently securing a landmark third term in office, cementing him as the most powerful Chinese leader for generations.
Who else is going?
British PM Rishi Sunak is also off to Bali, where he faces his first big diplomatic test. He is expected to focus on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine directly and emphasise support for Kyiv. “We will call out Putin’s regime, and lay bare their utter contempt for the kind of international cooperation and respect for sovereignty that forums like the G20 represent,” Sunak said in a statement on Saturday. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has been invited to address the summit virtually.
Biden and Sunak will meet face to face for the first time at the G20 on Wednesday as US diplomats stepped up pressure to agree a deal on the Northern Ireland protocol by the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement next…