|Photo taken on Sept. 3, 2013 shows a poster of G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. G20 leaders will meet in St. Petersburg on Sept. 5-6. (Xinhua/Lu Jinbo)|
The latest G20 summit in St. Petersburg is probably the most interesting one yet.
In order to avoid embarrassment, the seating plan of the G20 table was rewritten to keep US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin apart.
Japan is happy that Prime Minister Shinzo's Abe "ran into" Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the meeting.
Obama was late for Putin's G20 dinner since he was reportedly busy smoothing over the spying issue with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
And the Syria issue, which is not on the official agenda, overshadows the summit.
In 2008, the G20 summit was held for the first time in Washington. The US, hit by the financial crisis, was eager to communicate with emerging economies and prompt economic recovery. The prominence of the G20 was widely seen as a victory of the multipolar trend.
Today along with its economic recovery, the US may begin to resist the multipolar trend. It may seek to prevent the expanding influence of emerging countries in the G20. The pragmatic Americans may choose to ignore the restraints it receives from the G20.
The world is filled with uncertainties at the moment. The core strategic competition among major powers is the competition over constructing new international orders.
The US has been benefiting from the global order that it has dominated since the end of WWII, and is seeking to dominate emerging regions through new frameworks like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The transformation from a unipolar world to a multipolar one is complex. China must actively promote this process, and especially make good use of platforms like the G20.
There are still wide gaps between emerging economies and the G7 countries, which is the fundamental reason of the G20's lacking of efficiency. But the G20 is still the most ideal venue of international economic governance, one that well balances efficiency and legitimacy.
Nonetheless, the traditional G7 countries have their mature, efficient mechanisms of collaboration.
Emerging countries like China and Russia must establish their own mechanisms and ensure that the G20 operates on two wheels, both Western and non-Western. The US, despite its colossal global clout, has to pay attention to other countries.
During the latest G20 summit, the Chinese leader's confidence has been repeatedly mentioned by foreign media. A powerful and confident China will not only handle its domestic issues well, but also more actively participate in global affairs.