The G20's role irreplaceable

By Jin Canrong and Liu Shiqiang
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, November 8, 2010
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Mechanism is becoming increasingly important for theadvancement of international relations and world economy.

In the post-crisis period full of complexity and uncertainty, the Group of 20 (G20) can undoubtedly serve as a key to understanding the transition and development of the world economic pattern.

Since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, there have been four successful meetings of the G20 heads of government, in which leaders not only positively coordinated stimulus measures and policies in dealing with the crisis, but also reached a comprehensive consensus on issues including sustained economic growth in the future and reform of the international financial system. The G20 has become a major platform for global macroeconomic policy coordination.

The upcoming G20 Seoul Summit in the Republic of Korea (ROK), the first ever in a non-G8 nation, is of great significance to the rebalance of the decision-making power in the world economy, and is also an important opportunity for the promotion of Sino-ROK ties.

As it is becoming the world's macroeconomic coordination mechanism, the G20 is of great significance for the advancement of international relations and the world economy. The outbreak of the global financial crisis indicated that the current West-led international system has limitations and is unable to reflect the demands of emerging economies.

The development of the G20 would help balance the over-centralized world economic power structure.

The evolution of the G20 has benefited from three major driving forces: The first being the international financial crisis. In the face of the financial turmoil, the response of both the United States-led G8 and the United Nations was barely satisfactory. Thanks to its policy-making efficiency and more balanced representation, the G20 quickly emerged as the leading forum to cope with the crisis.

The second factor is the changing world economic pattern.

During the past two decades, emerging economies, with those of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) at the forefront, have become important forces in helping the world weather the crisis, which in turn highlighted the status of the G20.

The third driving force comes from major powers, especially the US. In view of the inherent drawbacks of other international governance mechanisms, the G20 became Washington's preference when seeking international cooperation.

The growing openness and flexibility of the G20 could have a complex influence on the international relations.

However, the international community has not yet reached a consensus on whether the G20 mechanism will become permanent. There is still a long way to go for a genuine reordering of the global order. In this sense, the Seoul Summit is an important window to observe the participants' efforts to institutionalize the G20.

Furthermore, the future prospects of the G20 depend on it resolving three problems.

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