Extraordinary And Plenipotentiary Diplomatist diplomatist vol-7 Issue -9 sep 2019 | Page 3

Publisher’s Note “We are trapped between an erratic Trump, a dysfunctional Europe and an authoritarian China,” says Adam Tooze, a British historian. 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 Publisher Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist • Vol 7 • Issue 9 • September 2019, Noida • 3