India to Replace China as New Asian Power Amid G20’s Criticism of Russia

Key Takeaways:

  • Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin in September today's era is not an era of war.
  • Modi has assumed the leadership position of G20.
India to Replace China as New Asian Power Amid G20's Criticism of Russia
India to replace China as New Asian Power Image Credit: Abhinav Srivastava

LAGOS ( — The United States has lauded India for its important role in negotiating the Bali Declaration at the just concluded Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Bali, Indonesia.

In detail, the White House heaps tonnes of praise on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his role in negotiating the Bali Declaration and his call for an end to the Russia-Ukraine war in his opening remarks at the summit in Indonesia.

US President Joe Biden listens to Indian PM Narendra Modi during the G20 Summit opening.
US President Joe Biden listens to Indian PM Narendra Modi during the G20 Summit opening session in Bali, Indonesia.

Modi on Tuesday urged a return to diplomacy to end the Russia-Ukraine war. He reiterated the South Asian nation’s call for peace in the ongoing conflict. Recall that India has not condemned Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin in September that “today’s era is not an era of war.”

“I have repeatedly said that we have to find a way to return to the path of ceasefire and diplomacy. The need of the hour is to show concrete and collective resolve to ensure peace, harmony and security globally.”

Modi said.

The summit marks the first time G20 leaders are meeting since Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine. World leaders at the summit once again issued a joint statement condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine. However, more spotlight fell on India after the South Asian nation condemned Russia’s action.

Modi’s dominant stance, however, earned India praise from several nations. In a statement, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre applauded the country for its call for peace. Others also pointed out that G20’s criticism of Russia indicates a rise of new Asian power. Global headlines described Modi’s stance as a boost for global peace.

It is worth noting that Russia has been India’s biggest supplier of military equipment for decades. Moscow is also the fourth-biggest market for Indian pharmaceutical products, hence the unexpected stance taken by Modi. India is also Russia’s largest oil customer after China.

India To Replace China As Top Country In Asia

Moreover, India’s role at the just concluded G20 shows that the country is ready to pull power with China, the current major power in Asia. Both nations are vying to be Asia’s undisputed superpower. However, India’s bold stance at the G20 has further helped it close the gap with China. It has also added integrity to the South Asian nation’s claim to power.

India is already projected to surpass China as the most populous country in 2023. India’s economy is also currently the world’s fastest-growing economy. The investment bank Nomura forecasts that China will grow by 4.3% in 2022 compared to India’s 8.5%. And with the role it played at the G20, India might be ready to challenge China as the top country in the continent.

India President Is G20 New Leader

Meanwhile, Modi’s declaration comes as he assumes the leadership position of the G20 countries. Indonesian President Joko Widodo handed over the presidency of G20 to Modi amid a round of applause from the summit members.

India President Is G20 New Leader
President Joko Widodo handed over the presidency of G20 to Modi amid a round of applause.

Modi said India taking over the G20 presidency is a matter of pride for every citizen. He said, “Together with every country’s efforts, we can make the G20 summit a catalyst for global welfare.”

India Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said India had contributed ‘constructively’ to drafting the G20 outcome document. With the new position, Modi will host the next G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi in September 2023.

The G20 comprises 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, and Italy. Others are Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the USA, and the European Union (EU). Together, they account for over 80% of the global GDP and 75% of international trade, and two-thirds of the world population.

All eyes on Narendra Modi

Meanwhile, as India prepares to assume the G20 presidency, all eyes are on Modi as he begins his campaign for India’s 2024 national election. Domestically, his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) populist politics have polarized the nation.

While Modi remains immensely popular in a country where about 80% of the population is Hindu, his government has been repeatedly criticized for a clampdown on free speech and discriminatory policies toward minority groups.

Amid those criticisms, Narendra Modi’s political allies have been keen to push his international credentials, portraying him as a key player in the global order.

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