G20 Summit and Biden visit Vietnam: A roundup on the Four Pillars

Sep 11, 2023News

Note: We at BGF introduce to you a new section in BGF Weekly – the Four Pillars. It will cover global security, focused on the Four Pillars of the US, the EU, Japan, and India.

The G20 Summit, hosted in Delhi, India, was attended by President Biden. He would pitch the idea of a global alliance of democracies over the authoritarian systems of China to not just friendlier states of the EU and NATO, but also developing countries, who may not have been as receptive. Biden was also able to reach a compromise with G20 nations on a stronger communique on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which while did not produce the strongest condemnation of Russia, was a minor concession.

India, the host of the summit, also took the opportunity to stake its claim as the leader of the Global South, as Xi Jinping was absent in what many consider to be a boycott of the event. The US backed this effort in a statement supporting India with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Japan, another Pillar and an attendee at the summit, backs India in this rivalry too.

Biden also seized on the opportunity for a photo op with leaders of Brazil, India, South Africa, taking advantage of Xi Jinping’s absence. This indicates a signaling that the US have been making inroads with members of the so-called BRICS bloc, which seeks to rival US economic influence.

Furthermore, Biden visited Vietnam in a trip that elevated the two countries’ relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the highest status (other countries with the status are Russia, China, India, and South Korea).

Overall, these events signal a development in the strengthening of relations between the Four Pillars. While the headline is to be the deepening of American-Indian cooperation, it also involves India’s play to overtake China as “leader of the Global South,” and Japan’s support for India in this endeavor. With the strengthening of connection between the Pillars, as shown by these events, it leads to one further step towards a global alliance of democracy.

Minh Nguyen

Read more about these topics:

  • [President Biden on Twitter] Together, the United States, India, Brazil, and South Africa reaffirm our shared commitment to the G20 – delivering solutions for our shared world.
  • [The White House] Joint Statement from India and the United States
  • [Politico] At G-20 and in Vietnam, Biden to sell American partnerships — all at China’s expense
  • [Bloomberg] India’s G-20 Win Shows US Learning How to Counter China Rise
  • [The Hindu] At G-20, Japan backs India, not China, as bridge to Global South: Japanese experts
  • [Nikkei Asia] U.S. upgrades Vietnam ties as Biden blasts China for ‘changing rules’