L’Aquila, Italy: India’s hopes to push for a major restructure in the global organizations including financial institutions in the annual summit of the Group of Eight (G8) industrial nations and emerging economies, seemed to have received a setback with Chinese President Hu Jintao canceling his plans to attend the meeting.
According to Xinhua News Agency, Beijing’s official agency, Hu’s decision to return home was due to the riot in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. The Chinese premier was on a state visit to Italy since Sunday.
In the riot, which is described as the “deadliest riot since New China was founded in 1949, a total of 156 people died and a further 1,000-odd were injured in the riot Sunday evening in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, said China daily.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrived in Rome on Tuesday evening, was expected to meet Hu on the sidelines of the summit.
The absence of Hu in the summit may hit the prospects of a turning point on the discussions for changes in the global financial institutions, said an Indian official who did not want to be identified.
However, the official added, “We were not expecting any majorbreakthrough in these discussions as it is just a negotiating forum.”
The three day summit is expected to address various issues, including coordination in the global economic crisis, climate change, food security and trade issues.
China said last week that it wanted a broader global monetary system with gradual development of a new reserve currency. Although China is not a member of the G8 - which includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States - but it is regularly invited to join enlarged sessions at the annual summit, along with other major nations including India.
In an article prepared for a book which is to be brought out by the G8 summit in the earthquake-hit Aquila, Manmohan Singh, who questioned the present structure of the UN Security Council – which gives veto to the five permanent members pointed out that the deficiencies of existing system of governance have been ”dramatically brought home during the recent international financial and economic crisis.’’
He wrote: “It has forcefully exposed fundamental weaknesses in the approach to financial regulation which emphasized light regulation and greater reliance on in-house controls and market discipline to control risk.’’