G-20: Much ham, less burgers

Hamburg just ended the 12th G 20 annual conference, on the evening of 8th. Besides being a busy northern port of Germany, it is the foremost city of commerce, having headquarters for publishing brands as Springer, Spiegel, beyond that Airbus, Adobe, Levers, also known for the UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning. It was not a co-incidence that it was followed by protests, arson, and looting by crowds swelling into tens of thousands for the next 24 hours. Such protests however are not uncommon during or after any global summit, including the UN General Assembly.
The G-20 was expanded from a rather close club of G-8, signifying the 20 wealthiest nations of a rather poor world. The driving agenda was that global GDP would only pick up, if there were more players.
That being the original handle, there always are other issues to be settled, the most repeated ones being environment, disarmament, treaties not having been well adhered, immigration, and inter-nation border issues. Terrorism is the one that comes up all the time, as a part of popular prayers, as, “..forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us…” Hope God keeps a log book on such meets.
The background, in terms of commitment to environment, was expected to be firmed, after a startling withdrawal by the US in the recent Paris meet. This got no positive signal, much less, an assurance for future. I smell diplomacy here. Perhaps US does not wish to be a headmaster, having suddenly discovered its frailty in endless wars, trade, manufacturing. Other countries that are greener, can be invested with such responsibility. It is re-assuring, that India is sticking to its targets.
There were concerns regarding the nuclear experiments of North Korea, particularly its claims of an ICBM test almost on the eve of the summit. There were explicit criticisms that the US did not take it up. A journalist’s view of what should be said, or unsaid, often differs from real diplomacy. Such summits don’t end with chartbusting songs as Michael Jackson’s “.a better place, for you and for me..”. Perhaps, “..you say it best when you say nothing at all.” are more apt, for one does not what is in store tomorrow~
The formalities as they go, were rather complete, with Chancellor Merkel welcoming POTUS (president of the US), and other delegates. One to one interactions and press conferences were broadcast between Mr Putin and Mr Trump, as with PM Li of China. China did express its displeasure over the high- altitude radar system deployed by US for South Korea to keep a check on North Korea. The Chinese feeling was that it was a spy on its own activities.
It is a different matter, that it is of little consequence to others when China keeps such vigilance on its own neighbours. Including threats that fall beyond pre-decided diplomacy. Truly, no treaty or talk is valid beyond the time when the ink on the paper dries up! An immediate concern for India was the Doklam impasse. Not that India would signal its distress, on what it can take up as a sovereign nation, there is a well delineated arena in all such summits, known as the “side-lines”.
Before we come to what may be read into the situation, it may be clarified, that all such summits run on three parallel arenas. These are, “Lines, side-lines, and underlines”.
The two PMs, Mr Modi and Li, did meet. Moreover, Sherpa Pangariya’s tweet, of the US President meeting “good friend” Modi in an impromptu interaction, certainly was not to ask him how to un-knot oneself after the fifth step, once irretrievably locked (considering his long stature) in a particular yogic asana. It could well be about the said Sino-Indian impasse. I presume a certain understanding has been reached.
The other side-line PM Modi availed of, was a meeting with British PM May, regarding the return Kingfisher Mallya He may have talked to the Brazilian PM, for allotment of fifty visitor tickets to TMC members to see Phutball as is played in Brazil phor a month, and eben chance to meet great Pele, and gibe him some tips, apfter next year’s meet. That is the only way to appease “Mamta Didi”, for that shall drive an instant wedge in the party!
The call to the PM of Norway had a reason. Norway is classified as one of the richest countries. Also ranked the same in terms of per capita GDP. It has enormous resources in terms of oil, and ferrous based alloys as aluminium. It has a net positive output and trade surplus compared to EU, which through treaty is its largest trading partner. Norwegian economy has made its way up significantly through FDIs.
To bring the points in sequence, “the Line” regarding environment was somewhat sidelined, the “side-lines”, were adequately made use of, and the “underlined”, was the speech by the IMF President Christine Lafarge, that world trade should expand, lauded Chancellor Merkel for her COMPACT association with Africa, and PM Modi vouching to lift India amongst the top 50 countries in terms of ease of doing business. Certainly a balanced statement, considering that presently India ranks 19th or 20th amongst countries that import from the global GDP!
Maybe, this deliberation goes to give Ahmedabad (also Amdavad), the status of a heritage city! But the true reason may be different. As most “Amdavadis” shall concede instantly, he showed his business acumen in making two International trips on a single ticket. All he must have billed the government would have been the Tel Aviv journey. Hamburg, was a break in return journey! “Ek ticket ma bey jagya phari avyo. Pachhi, khawanu, rehwanu, beeja ney khaatey maa !” ( visited two destinations in a single ticket. Besides boarding, lodging was paid by the opposite party!) I believe, the President of IMF, must have noted the genes of a crack businessman PM, and applauded India’s growing sense of economics!


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