China says it backs African Union’s inclusion in G20
Beijing: China on Thursday expressed its support for the inclusion of the African Union (AU) in the G20, saying it is the “first country to explicitly support” the inclusion of the African bloc in the grouping.
In a recent interview with PTI, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India backs the inclusion of the African Union as a full member of the Group of 20 largest economies as no plan for the future of the planet can be successful without the representation and recognition of all voices.
“China is the first country that explicitly expressed its support for the African Union’s membership in the G20,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a media briefing here while replying to a question about reports that leaders of the grouping have agreed to grant permanent membership to the AU at the New Delhi summit to be held on September 9-10.
“At the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue last month, President Xi Jinping again stressed that China will work actively to support the AU’s full membership in the G20,” she said.
China and the AU are important partners in building a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future and safeguarding international fairness and justice, she said.
“China supports the AU in playing a bigger role in global governance,” Mao said.
In the last few years, India has been positioning itself as a leading voice, flagging concerns, challenges and aspirations of the Global South or the developing nations, especially the African continent.
Prime Minister Modi has been leading from the front on the issue of the African Union’s membership of the G20. In June, Modi wrote to the G20 leaders pitching for granting the African Union the full membership of the grouping at its New Delhi summit.
Weeks later, the proposal was formally included in the draft communique for the summit during the third G20 Sherpas meeting that took place in Karnataka’s Hampi in July.
“Our presidency has not only seen the largest-ever participation from African countries but has also pushed for the inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20,” Modi wrote in an article which appeared in several Indian newspapers on Thursday.
The US has also strongly supported the inclusion of AU in G20.
On Wednesday, White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communication John Kirby told reporters at a news conference in Washington that President Joe Biden was looking forward to warmly welcoming the African Union into the G20.
“He’s also looking forward to warmly welcoming the African Union as a permanent member of the G20, the newest permanent member. And we believe that the African Union’s voice will make the G20 even stronger than it already is,” Kirby said.
A final decision on the proposal would be taken at the G20 summit to be held in New Delhi on September 9 and 10.
The African Union (AU) is an influential organisation comprising 55 member states that make up the countries of the African continent.
The G20 includes the world’s 19 wealthiest countries and the European Union.