Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Thursday, Sep 8, 2016

Opinion: Brazil's role in G20 as China becomes main actor on global governance stage

By José Medeiros and Rafael Lima (People's Daily Online)    10:49, September 08, 2016

China gets on the global governance stage as one of its main actors. This is the most relevant outcome of the 11th G20 Summit, which happened on September 4-5 in the historic city of Hangzhou. On the other hand, Brazil did not do more than being a supporting actor, so small that one would not be able to imagine the country used to be one of the G20’s main protagonists since its creation in 1999. To be fair, this shrinking had its kickoff well before the Hangzhou Summit, reflecting on the International Politics board the political crisis that Brazil has been going through.

As it is known, until 2008 the forum was a space whose purpose rested upon discussing economic-related matters of developed and underdeveloped countries, the so-called financial G20. It consisted essentially of financial specialists such as finance ministers and presidents of central banks. When the United States endorsed its creation, it could never have believed it would evolve and become the main international forum about economic and political discussions concerning global governance. This change reshaped, gradually, the axis of world power management concentrated on the G7, whose members have been the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada.

After the Hangzhou summit, the G20 will not be the same, like it was not the same after the Washington summit in November 2008, that being the first one to receive the major global political leaders. It was so because China decided to take a central position in the economic reshaping of the world. If in the beginning there was some talking going on about the division of tasks between the G7/8 and the G20, it became irrelevant now. After Hangzhou, the G20 will be the main forum for addressing worldwide problems, not only those concerning finance and economy as it used to be.

It is evident that, in order for it to become the world’s main forum on global governance, many other adjustments will have to be made, but there is no doubt that there is no going back from this path, at least in the current stage of reshaping world power. In this perspective, China will use all its economic and diplomatic might for it. Furthermore, this intention becomes clear on the Chinese president Xi Jinping’s speeches, not only in the opening but also in his statement to the international press: “the G20 should meet the international community’s expectations, as well as following the path of prosperity and stability. It should also adapt to its place in time and show the way. The G20 should adapt to the necessities of the global economy and transform itself (…). (Opening speech). Still according to Xi Jinping, “the G20 needs to improve its role as an engine for international cooperation. It has to change and move on from being a mechanism for answering to crisis to being a mechanism for governance in the long term (…) we all agree on the fact that the transformation of the G20 will affect all members’ immediate interests and the future of the global economy. In order to maintain the G20’s vitality, we should adopt the current changes and progresses”. (Statement to the press). It is evident that, as the Chinese president himself insisted on outlining, the G20 does not have a strategic vision. May we be able to acknowledge that it is not that simple, due to the fact that it will be necessary to conciliate strategic interests that may be mostly divergent from each other, be it at the national level and of corporative economic interests, or at a deeper stage, in which there are world civilization visions.

In conclusion, we emphasize that when we talk about Brazil’s shrinking, we do not mean to stay at a leafleting and accusatory level, nor do we want to relocate upon individualities of representing circumstances the responsibility for a grave internal political and economic crisis. What we mean is that, through the G20, we are before a crucial moment in the reshaping of world power and that, in light of this historic opportunity, Brazil needs to be bigger than its own pain and internal divisions. In other words, we need to look at this new G20 horizon and take, like China is doing now, our place in the world’s political and economic reshaping, and look forward to witnessing the edification of a harmonious and environmentally healthier mankind. Brazil can and should contribute more to its own wellbeing and that of mankind.

José Medeiros da Silva is a PhD in Political Science from University of São Paulo, professor at Zhejiang International Studies University and a Guest Researcher at the Macau International Institute.

Rafael Gonçalves de Lima is a Master in International Relations from Jilin University. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Wu Chengliang,Bianji)

Add your comment

Related reading

We Recommend

Most Read

Key Words