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Germany yet to take decision on Donald Trump's G-11 plan

Senior diplomats, who did not wish to be identified told ET, that discussions about Trump’s initiative are still at an early stage and nothing has been firmed up. A senior diplomat from Europe said G10 or G11 would pose a direct challenge to China and its dynamics were very complicated.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jun 06, 2020, 09.52 AM IST
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Germany will hold rotating EU presidency for six months from July and, in many ways, may shape Europe’s China policy.
NEW DELHI: Germany, one of India’s key partners, has yet to reveal its stand on US President Donald Trump’s call to expand the Group of Seven or G7 to G11 by including India, Russia, Australia and South Korea. However, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson has said that G7 and G20 remain important to Germany, signalling that Europe’s largest economy may prove an important factor in implementation of what has been interpreted as the US’ move to check China’s global ambitions.

“In our view, G7, with its membership structure of democracies and leading economies, remains an important format,” Merkel’s spokesperson said in Berlin. “Equally important for international cooperation is G20, where there is an exchange with the leading industrialised countries and emerging economies. In our view, however, the G7 also has its meaning in the large context of multilateral forums.” While Germany is a member of both G-7 and G-20, China is a member of G-20.

Senior diplomats, who did not wish to be identified told ET, that discussions about Trump’s initiative are still at an early stage and nothing has been firmed up. A senior diplomat from Europe said G10 or G11 would pose a direct challenge to China and its dynamics were very complicated.

India is an important partner for Germany in Asia and Germany is eyeing expanded strategic partnership with India in the Indo-Pacific region, but Germany has yet to comment on the invitation extended by President Trump to India.

Germany Yet to Take Decision on Trump’s G-11 Plan

Germany will hold rotating EU presidency for six months from July and, in many ways, may shape Europe’s China policy. Merkel has planned a large summit in Leipzig from September 13-15, which will be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, along with heads of state and government from the EU. This will be the first time all 27 EU leaders will meet as a group with a foreign head of state. The EU approach to China will be the foreign policy cornerstone of Germany’s council presidency, said people aware of the matter.

Europe must recognise “China’s determination to claim a leading role”, Merkel said in a video address to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the think tank connected to her centre-right Christian Democratic Union. Merkel’s relations with President Trump have been far from smooth in the past few years. On Thursday, referring to the volatile situation in the US, to which President Trump’s critics have accused him of contributing, Merkel said on broadcaster ZDF, “The killing of George Floyd is very, very terrible. Racism is awful and the society in the United States is very polarised.”
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