Friday, 20 Sep 2019
OPINION

Trilateral format at multilateral forum

Updated at Thursday, 20 Jun 2019, 08:20
The Hanoitimes - This year in Osaka, it will still be another summit of China, India and Russia on the sidelines of G20.
The coming annual G20 summit to be held in the Japanese city of Osaka late this month, will see the third trilateral summit of China, India and Russia. The first one was 13 years ago and the second was on the sidelines of last year's annual G20 summit in Argentina.
 
The second trilateral meet among India, Russia and China came after a gap of 12 years, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina, December 2018, to discuss cooperation in various areas. (Twitter/MEA)
The second trilateral meet among India, Russia and China came after a gap of 12 years, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina, December 2018, to discuss cooperation in various areas. (Twitter/MEA)
It is apparent that China's President Xi, India's Prime Minister Modi and Russia's President Putin intended to show the world that the trio from now on is on one boat in G20. Before coming to Osaka, they all attended and met with each other at the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek. They will meet again at the annual summit of BRICS comprising of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. That means the three have plenty of occasions to hold talks among them. What they pretend to create seems to be a new trilateral format of their own at this multilateral forum of G20 and only at G20. In Osaka, they may not yet start to institutionalize this format and still wait to see how it works at G20. But later or sooner, they will do it and rather sooner than later.

There could be only two aims which they would like to achieve with this idea. First, the three want to unite their standpoint and coordinate their actions at G20 in order to defend their core interests in all issues debated at G20. All three have been recently confronted with troubles caused to them by the US, especially on trade. They all have to face with the US's strategic competition in all fields of their bilateral relations with the US. If united, they could become a very powerful force against the US at G20. Together, it would be easier for them to succeed in not letting the US by using its political influence and economic as well as trade might manipulate the group of 20 and this multilateral forum for pursuing its policies which would be good for the US but not for them.

Second, with their common standpoint on promoting multilateralism and free trade, on fighting unilateralism and protectionism, power policy and hegemonism, they aim at isolating the US and divide the US and other members of G20. In doing so, they could transform their trilateral format in a factor capable of securing and enhancing the role and influence of G20 in today's world despite destructive participation of the US.

This year in Osaka, it will still be another summit of China, India and Russia on the sidelines of G20. But next year, there could already be an institutionalized trilateral format of them at this multilateral forum. It would be rather good than bad for G20.
Ambassador Tran Duc Mau
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