Chancellor Angela Merkel will need all her famed diplomatic skills this week to fulfil what many see as a mission impossible: preventing an open break of the G20, the closest thing the world has to a government, at this week’s summit of the world’s most important nations.
As host, it will fall on her to try to patch up deep rifts in the world order. Wherever you look, there is dissent and conflict. US President Donald Trump is threatening Europe and China with import tariffs and has pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
China and America can’t agree on how to deal with North Korea’s mounting aggression and are at odds over China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. Russia, internationally isolated since the Ukraine conflict, is hacking its way into Western elections and confounding the West with its military support for the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war.