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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s G20 Presidency: A Risky Gamble or a Geopolitical Triumph?

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has transformed the presidency of the Group of 20 nations into a platform to showcase India’s geopolitical importance. As India’s year-long presidency of the G20 comes to an end, Indian diplomats are working to broker tangible multilateral outcomes at the upcoming G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi. However, India has faced challenges in fostering consensus and achieving joint statements due to objections from Russia and China, particularly regarding the language referring to the Ukraine crisis. Despite these obstacles, Modi has used the G20 presidency to promote India and his leadership on the world stage. However, the lack of concrete breakthroughs could undermine India’s credibility and Modi’s domestic messaging. The absence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit further diminishes the prospects for significant progress. This situation poses a potential setback for Modi’s government, which has invested significant effort in hosting more than 200 G20 meetings across India. The lack of tangible accomplishments may lead to cynicism among voters ahead of the upcoming national elections. Nevertheless, India has demonstrated its growing global importance, including its strategic alliance with the US and its emergence as a key player in countering China’s influence. India’s improved relations with the US contrast with its ongoing standoff with China, which has faced criticism from India and other nations over its territorial claims. As the US aims to limit technology transfers to China, India stands to benefit from American companies seeking to diversify their supply chains. This development further strengthens India’s economic clout and enhances its geopolitical assertiveness.

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