“We are trapped between an erratic Trump, a dysfunctional
Europe and an authoritarian China,” says Adam Tooze, a
September has started badly for the world economy. From
the US-China trade war through to the problems seriously
aﬀ ecting Germany, Brazil, the UK and more.
The global economy has slowed to its lowest pace in
three years. It is on the path to recovery, but its pace is
weak and subject to substantive risks. The world economy
is in a never-ending state of ﬂ ux. The World Bank’s June
2019 Global Economic Prospects: Heightened Tensions,
Subdued Investment reports that growth in the emerging
and developing world is expected to pick up next year as the
turbulence and dubiety that impaired a number of countries
late last year and this year concede.
In recent years, the conception of an emerging second
Cold War, this time between the US and China, has gained
credence. U.S. and Chinese negotiators are gearing up for
talks in October, but neither side has given any sign of oﬀ ering
concessions that might break a deadlock.
Oﬃ cially, China is growing at more than 6 percent a year
but the reality is more stern than the headline numbers imply.
China’s all-inclusive Belt and Road Initiative – its maestro for
reorienting the economic networks of Afro-Eurasia around
a Chinese core – turned six recently. By many accounts,
China’s BRI has been a monolithic success. Since 2013, more
than 130 countries have signed deals or expressed interest in
projects geared to spurring trade along routes reminiscent of
the ancient Silk Road. But President Xi Jinping’s signature
eﬀ ort has also come in for criticism including charges that
China is exploiting poor countries- enticing them into debt
traps – for its own political and even military gain.
A few days back, leaders of the Group of Seven, the
world’s leading industrial democracies, wrapped up their
summit in France. This summit took place as the U.S. and
China ratcheted up their trade war with no clear end in sight.
Donald Trump’s conduct at the G7 meeting in Biarritz was
criticized as careless and troubled by many observers. Others
argued that the press pay too much attention to Trump’s
personal antics, tweets, and political games. In the long run,
they argue, historians will consider them mere peccadilloes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also attended the G7
Summit. Although India is not a member of the G7 group,
PM Modi attended the G7 Summit as a special guest as
he was personally invited by French President Emmanuel
Macron. The countries that are part of the G7 include the
United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan,
and the United States.
India and France have reinforced a profound economic,
security and diplomatic relationship over the last few decades
that has spanned the Cold War era and strengthened in the
last decade or two. France has become the new Russia – the
new best friend. The Modi-Macron bromance could not have
come at a more critical time for the two countries.
Attending the 5th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) summit
in Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted India’s
ties with the Far East saying that even when there were
restrictions in Soviet Russia on other foreigners, Vladivostok
was open for Indians. This was the ﬁ rst instance of an Indian
prime minister attending the East Economic Forum.
In the last few years, Russia has been drawing steadily
closer to China. Russia has developed a broader and deeper
economic and political relationship with China. In the case of
India, France seems to have replaced Russia as its dependable
friend and partner in the Western world.
Linda Brady Hawke
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist • Vol 7 • Issue 9 • September 2019, Noida • 3