May 22, 2022

World political calendar: 20 years of China at the WTO, India tour of Putin

Next week, China will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit India and Olaf Scholz is expected to take office as German Chancellor.

20th anniversary of China’s entry into the WTO

Saturday will mark the 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the WTO. On December 11, 2001, China officially joined the WTO, becoming its 143rd member.

Joining the WTO 20 years ago has become a watershed event in China’s development. The country has steadily opened up more to the world, generating a new wave of domestic development while injecting new momentum into the global economy.

Over the past 20 years, China has grown from the world’s sixth largest economy to the second. Meanwhile, its trade in goods has fallen from sixth largest in the world and trade in services from 11th to second.

Putin will travel to India on Monday and meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two countries will also hold their first “2+2” ministerial talks on defense and foreign affairs.

India and Russia are expected to sign a series of pacts to further enhance cooperation in key areas of defence, trade and investment, energy and technology during Putin’s visit.

India is a major buyer of Russian arms, agreeing to a $5.4 billion missile deal in 2018 despite the threat of US sanctions.

After the visit, Putin and US President Joe Biden will have a videoconference on Tuesday evening, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. It is reported that the presidents will discuss Ukraine and several other issues.

Scholz to be sworn in as German Chancellor

Members of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), which narrowly won federal elections in September, voted on Saturday in favor of a coalition agreement with the Greens and the Liberal Democrats that should allow the three-way alliance to take over next week.

The coalition, the first at the federal level between the ideologically disparate Greens, libertarian Free Democrats (FDP) and Olaf Scholz’s centre-left SPD, will end 16 years of conservative governments led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Greens and FDP also need their membership’s approval for the deal the three parties agreed to last month. They hope the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, will vote Scholz as chancellor on Wednesday.

Monday: Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, continues his official visits to Cyprus, the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone (3-7 December); Putin visits India; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pays an official visit to Qatar (December 6-7).

Tuesday: Putin and Biden have a videoconference; EU health ministers meet in Brussels to discuss current COVID-19 challenges; the 80th anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor during WWII.

Wednesday: Scholz should be sworn in as German Chancellor; Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is due to visit Moscow.

Thusday: Biden hosts a virtual “Democracy Summit” (9-10 December).

Friday: The UK hosts a G7 Meeting of Foreign and Development Ministers in Liverpool (December 10-12).

On Saturday: China marks the 20th anniversary of its accession to the WTO.

Sunday: The meeting of G7 foreign and development ministers is coming to an end.