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China Questions Why US Should Get First Shot to Chair G-20 Again

G-20 members rotate their presidency of the group, including the annual summit of world leaders, and the US has said it will take it on after India, Brazil and South Africa complete their respective yearlong stints.

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China’s objection — backed by Russia, according to one of the people — is mostly symbolic as it’s unlikely the decision will be reversed. The people asked not to be named since the discussions on the sidelines of the current G-20 in India are private. 

The Chinese move was first reported by the Financial Times. 

Beijing asked that its displeasure be recorded, according to the people, who didn’t know the reasons for China’s objections. However, by the end of 2025 all members will have hosted at least one summit and the point reached where the rotation begins again. The US hosted the first G-20 in Washington in 2008.    

Attempts to upset that convention reflect China’s standoff with the US over issues from Taiwan to technology export controls. Neither Chinese leader Xi Jinping nor Russian President Vladimir Putin are attending the G-20 in New Delhi. 

The G-20 is divided into regional sub-groups, whose members decide who will host the summit. The US is in a group with Canada, Australia and Saudi Arabia.

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The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi earlier on Saturday, US Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer pointed out that India, Brazil and South Africa — “the three democratic members of the BRICS” group that also includes China and Russia — are the current and next two chairs of the G-20. 

“They are committed to the G-20 success, so is the United States. We will host after those three,” Finer said. “And if China is not, that’s unfortunate for everyone, but much more unfortunate, we believe, for China.”

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