Donald Trump’s Move To Invite India, Russia For G-7 Summit Riles China
Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, center, waves to the audience as he arrives with Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, center right, during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum at the Expoforum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Donald Trump’s Move To Invite India, Russia For G-7 Summit Riles China

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China has reacted angrily to U.S. President Donald Trump’s plans to invite India, Russia, Australia and South Korea to the Group of Seven Summit later this year, saying that any attempts to draw a "small circle" against Beijing will be "doomed to fail" and become "unpopular".

G-7 is the group of top seven developed economies. These include the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada. Heads of States of these countries meet annually to discuss issues of global governance, including climate change, security and the economy.

Trump has postponed the G-7 Summit till September this year and expressed his desire to expand the "outdated" bloc to G-10 or G-11 by including India and three other nations to the grouping of the world's top economies.

Asked for his reaction about Trump's plans for G-7 Summit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, told a media briefing in Beijing that China believes all international fora should be conducive to mutual trust between countries to uphold multilateralism, world peace and development.

"We believe this is the role of the overwhelming majority of the countries in the world. Any attempts to seek a small circle against China is doomed to fail and is unpopular," he said.

There is a sense of disquiet in Beijing over Trump's overtures, especially at a time when he is seeking to isolate China with a raft of measures, including withdrawing the special status to Hong Kong in response to new security law for the former British colony.

The U.S. severed ties with the World Health Organization after Trump raised questions over the multilateral agency’s ties with China. He is now weighing curbs on Chinese students above the undergraduate level. The president is also pushing for decoupling China from global supply chains.

The tensions between the U.S. and China escalated after the Trump administration accused Beijing of not divulging on time information on the coronavirus outbreak. China, however, has rejected all allegations of a cover-up.

The U.S. currently holds the annual presidency of G-7 countries. In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were talks of the summit being held virtually. But Trump has been suggesting that it be held in person.

During the summit, the G-7 president normally invites heads of states of one or two countries to attend the meeting as special invitee.

Last year, French President Emanuel Macron had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the G-7 Summit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the G-7 meeting in the French town of Biarritz in August 2019.

Trump's invitation to Russia is regarded as a source of concern for China.

Beijing has bolstered ties with Moscow ever since Russia was expelled from the G-8 in 2014 due to the Crimean annexation. Reports from Russia suggest that the Putin administration has shown interest in accepting the invitation.

"President Putin is a supporter of dialogue in all directions, but in this case, in order to respond to such initiatives, we need to receive more info, which we unfortunately do not have," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by China's state-run CGTN.

"We don't know the details of this proposal yet, we don't know if it is official," he said, adding that Moscow needed to know what might be on the agenda of the proposed meeting and its format, before responding.

The U.K. and Canada have opposed Russia's return to the G-7, deepening a rift over President Trump's wish for the country to re-join, the BBC reported.

On Sunday, Trump told Putin of his plans to invite him to the G-7 summit. The White House said making "progress toward convening the G-7" with Russia was among the topics the leaders discussed in a phone call, according to reports.

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