US President Donald Trump expressed his desire to expand G-7 membership to include countries like India, Australia, South Korea and Russia. He calls the existing Group of Seven clubs as a “very outdated group of countries”. He feels that G-7 does not represent what is currently going on in the world.
Before going in-depth, we should know what G-7 is and how it works?
G-7 or “Group of Seven” includes Canada, US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. It was formed in 1975 by the top economies of the time. They contemplate and negotiate different issues like economic crisis, terrorism, arms control, drug trafficking, etc. Russia was a part of G-7 till 2014 and got expelled following its annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
Historic proposal of the US to expand the G-7 will give more voice, influence and power to India. G-7 is the most influential grouping after the UN's Security Council. India should not give ears to China’s protest in the expansion of G-7. US President Donald Trump even phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed his desire and invited them to join the G-7 Summit likely to be held in September in America. The Prime Minister had attended the G-7 Summit last year in Biarritz, France.
What prompted the US to make such a move? Let's discuss
The G-7 group was formed in 1975 and its member countries are not among the advanced countries now. India is a military and emerging economic power. China has become a nemesis for the US and many countries, after the corona outbreak. By accommodating India in the G-7, the US can counter China’s surging influence on the world stage and Trump can keep his promise of “Make America Great Again”.
The US Presidential Election is going to be held this year. Making friendly relations with more countries will help Trump save his face against the tough Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Trump also aims at 1.2 million Indian votes through this move and secures as much support from the Indian diaspora.
Why these four countries?
A country that can give head-to-head competition to China in terms of population and military is India. Australia was one of the countries which demanded an independent inquiry into the issue of the COVID-19 epidemic. Australia is an ally of America in the South Pacific where China is trying to make its presence felt. South Korea is a tech and economic superpower and also an American ally. Russia’s name surprised everyone including the international experts. Russia always had close ties with China. If Russia accepts the proposal that will hit China hard. Most of the technology which China owes is from Russia or a new version of Russian technology. Then, why will Russia be a part of this grouping? Despite close ties between Russia and China, both countries have border tensions. Russia perceives the truth that China will be a matter of concern today or tomorrow.
Even though the US made its proposal, the member countries like the UK and Canada are against the re-entry of Russia, since it was ousted in 2014. A unanimous decision of all the members is required to make this proposal a reality. The move of deliberate exclusion of China reflects an intensified rift between the US and China who were already involved in a trade tussle.
Anyway, even if this remains a proposal, this is enough for China to spend insomniac nights witnessing growing rivalry against it.