Last year, the G7 summit was scheduled to take place in the United States. When Donald Trump invited India (along with Russia, Australia and South Korea) to the G7 summit, China came out in the open condemning the U.S. President for ignoring the country. Frothing at the mouth China said, ‘Any attempts to seek a small circle against China is doomed to fail and become unpopular’.
In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the G7 summit could not happen even though Donald Trump decided to shift the meeting to September. However, it was heartening for New Delhi that the U.S. seemed keen on expanding the bloc to G10 or 11 and add India to it.
This year the G7 summit will be held, from June 11 to 13, in the United Kingdom. And the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has formally invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the G7 summit. This time also the host has invited Australia and South Korea as guests and has chosen to ignore China.
No doubt irked China and Chinese officials along with the mouthpiece media will unleash another round of verbal attacks on the Boris Johnson government in the coming days. Because China can’t come to terms with unwaveringly growing enthusiasm in the West for India, while Beijing is being consistently cornered in the post-corona scenario.
The invitation by the United Kingdom also holds significance for the deepening India-UK relationship because it was the first G7 member to invite India to a summit in 2005.
Essentially, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending his second G7 summit this time, in 2019 he had visited the French town of Biarritz to participate in his first G7 summit on French President Emanuel Macron’s invite.
Interestingly, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to visit Delhi as Chief Guest for the Republic Day celebrations this year but, after the emergence of new coronavirus strain in the United Kingdom, he cancelled the trip to focus on domestic concerns. Johnson called up PM Modi to express his regret, and around a fortnight later not only invited the Indian PM to the summit but also promised to visit the nation before that.
The G7 summit is a big platform for India to seize the opportunity to grow its influence on the top seven developed economies participating in discussions related to global governance, security, economy and climate change.
On the sidelines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi may hold bilateral talks with the heads of states of the member nations, which may include an engagement with the U.S President Joe Biden wherein he can push India’s plan for bolstering ties the United States.
In the first in-person G7 summit in almost two years, the Prime Ministers and Presidents of leading democracies will come together to address common challenges ranging from beating the Covid-19 pandemic and reviving the world economy with the help of open trade.
And it augurs well for India ahead of the summit with the British officials terming the country as ‘pharmacy of the world’. The United Kingdom has lauded India’s efforts in the production of coronavirus vaccine saying the country already supplies more than 50 per cent of the world’s vaccines and that both countries have worked closely throughout the pandemic.
G7 is the group of top seven developed economies: the U.S., the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada. China has never been a part of the G7 despite being the second-biggest economy. Because China is still not considered an advanced economy like the G7 nations due to its relatively low wealth per head of population.
Now China is blamed for the spread of coronavirus across the world. The United States and the United Kingdom have openly criticised China for keeping the Covid-19 cases under wraps for a very long time. While no invitation for the G7 summit is considered a big snub to China, the world’s major economies warming up to India is making it more difficult for Beijing to swallow its pride.