June 2, 2023

China on Monday confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will hold their second trilateral summit in Osaka.

During a media briefing on the upcoming two-day G-20 summit in Osaka that begins on June 28, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Jun said that the meeting of the leaders, who recently met at Bishkek at the Shanghai Cooperation Organsiation (SCO) summit, was of “great significance.”

He also signalled that the trilateral mechanism of Russia, India, and China (RIC) had now become institutionalised.

“Indeed, during the Osaka summit, the leaders of China, Russia and India will have a trilateral meeting. The mechanism of the China, India, Russia trilateral meeting has maintained a sound momentum of development,” Mr. Zhang observed.

“Last year during the Buenos Aires G20 summit, the three leaders also had a meeting. And this time, given the current international landscape, their meeting is also of great significance,” he said, when asked to comment on the geopolitical and geo-economic significance of the trilateral summit.

Without naming the U.S., the Chinese diplomat stressed that ahead of the summit, the “international community has fully recognised the repercussions of unilateralism, protectionism and bullying practices”.

China’s Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen, who also briefed the media, asserted, in reference to Washington, that “some individual country has been insisting on unilateralism, protectionism, abusing trade remedial measures (and) national security exceptionalism. That country has slapped tariffs on its trading partners, causing major threat to global trade, investment and economic growth”.

Eastern Economic Forum

The trio will meet again in September in Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum where Mr. Modi will be the chief guest.

Apart for adding weight to the global significance of Eurasia, the trilateral meeting in Osaka would also have a positive impact on bilateral relations, Mr. Zhang said.

“As you know, China’s relations with India and Russia are showing a sound momentum of growth, and the leaders of the three countries have also maintained close exchanges. At the recently concluded SCO summit and the CICA summit, and also other meetings [that are] taking place of the leaders of the three countries…it is important for the three countries to strengthen coordination of major global issues and jointly uphold multilateralism, oppose protectionism and deepen cooperation on multilateral and international affairs to make important contribution to global peace,” he noted and asserted that the Osaka trilateral could also strengthen ties “at the bilateral level,” and “will produce positive outcomes”.

China would also provide leadership to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which has continued to “grey list” Pakistan, because Islamabad had been found wanting in curbing terror financing. However, China, which was about to chair the FATF, would conduct “a strategic review” of the organisation and adopt a “clear responsive strategy,” a Chinese official said.

Chinese officials also made it plain that during the Osaka summit, which is taking place in the teeth of a trade war with the U.S., Beijing would back a revamp of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and bat for reform of the global financial system, under the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Referring to the meeting of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) countries on the sidelines of the G20, Mr. Zhang hoped that in view of uncertainty in the global economy, BRICS would play “a bigger role in upholding multilateralism, an open and non-discriminatory trading system, building an opening economy and (contributing to) world economic governance.”

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