Appreciative of the U.S. role in establishing G-20 which provided a “comfortable” platform to countries like India and China, Beijing wanted gradual expansion and institutionalisation of the grouping to include areas like counter-terrorism, according to classified papers released by WikiLeaks.
These views were expressed by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei during a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg on September 29, 2009.
“He thanked President Obama for his leadership in institutionalising the G-20, which had created a ‘comfortable’ platform for countries like China and India to play a larger role,” showed one of the cables from Beijing as leaked by WikiLeaks.
“He explained that there had been some domestic criticism of President Hu Jintao’s participation in the G8-plus-5. He expressed hope that the United States would coordinate closely with China as we established new rules for the organisation, and that it would not become an organisation that duplicated the United Nations or the G-8,” the cable said.
The Chinese minister expressed reservations about how fast the G-20 could expand to handle issues beyond economics and finance, but noted that if the organisation was going to stay relevant for leaders its scope would have to grow.
“He specifically mentioned the need for a coordinating mechanism on global diseases and counter-terrorism,” the cable said.