Ukraine war, tensions with China loom over big Bali summit

Ukraine war, tensions with China loom over big Bali summit


NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AP) — A showdown between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin isn’t happening, but the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and growing tensions between China and the West will be at the fore when leaders of the world’s biggest economies gather in tropical Bali this week.

The Group of 20 members begin talks on the Indonesian resort island Tuesday under the hopeful theme of “recover together, recover stronger.” While Putin is staying away, Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and get to know new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italy’s Giorgia Meloni.

The summit’s official priorities of health, sustainable energy and digital transformation are likely to be overshadowed by fears of a sputtering global economy and geopolitical tensions centered on the war in Ukraine.

The nearly nine-month-old conflict has disrupted trade in oil, natural gas and grain, and shifted much of the summit's focus to food and energy security.

The U.S. and allies in Europe and Asia, meanwhile, increasingly are squaring off against a more assertive China, leaving emerging G-20 economies like India, Brazil and host Indonesia to walk a tightrope between bigger powers.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has tried to bridge rifts within the G-20 over the war in Ukraine. Widodo, also known as Jokowi, became the first Asian leader since the invasion to visit both Russia and Ukraine in the summer.

He invited President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine, not a G-20 member, to join the summit. Zelenskyy is expected to participate, likely online.

“One of the priorities for Jokowi is to ease the tension of war and geopolitical risk,” said Bhima Yudhistira, director of the Center of Economic and Law Studies in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.

Last year’s G-20 summit in...

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