At the G-20 Summit, one significant long-term takeaway, according to Japanese experts, is the positioning of India as a crucial bridge to the “Global South” for both Japan and the Western nations.
Japanese experts believe that there’s a rivalry between India and China for leadership in the “Global South,” and Japan, along with the G-7, aims to see India play a prominent role in this regard. This perspective was emphasized by Hiroyuki Akita, a strategic affairs commentator in Tokyo, who stated that Japan views India as pivotal in countering China’s influence.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the G-7 meeting in Hiroshima earlier in the year underscored Japan’s commitment to collaborating with India as a bridge between the G-7 and the rest of the G-20, excluding China and Russia.
The strategy has focused on identifying common interests and shared objectives, especially in areas such as transparency and sustainability in investments, addressing debt crises, and climate financing, all of which are key factors in the G-20’s outcomes.
In the lead-up to the summit, negotiations have highlighted a growing divide between India and China on global and multilateral issues. This rift has emerged alongside worsening relations and the ongoing Line of Actual Control crisis. Previously, both countries had cooperated on issues like climate change and debt crises.
Liu Hong, vice-president of the Centre for China and Globalisation (CCG) in Beijing, pointed out that the broader issue extends beyond India and China and concerns how Asian countries collectively enhance their capacity to influence and manage global governance, including at forums like the G-20. Geopolitical factors have disrupted cooperation, especially in the past three years, leading to strained communication channels between India and China.