The G-20 is no happy family. Comprised of 19 countries and the European Union, once the urgency of the financial crisis waned, so too did the level of collaboration among members. Unlike the cozier G-7 — filled with likeminded nations — the G-20 is a better representation of the true global balance of power … and the tensions therein. So where are the deepest fault lines in the G-20?
Below is a ranking* of the 10 worst bilateral relationships in the G20. Russia is in four of the worst, while China is in three (although Russia and China’s relationship is fine). Several countries are also in two of the worst relationships: the United States (with the two belligerents mentioned above), Japan, the UK and the EU.
China and Japan have a historically troubled relationship, which has reached its most contentious point in decades as their dispute over territorial claims to the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands has escalated, leading to renewed geopolitical tensions and possible confrontation. When the world’s second- and third-largest economies are butting heads, it carries huge global ramifications.
The relationship between the United States and Russia is characterized by mistrust, and the two states consistently clash on foreign policy issues, including recently on international responses to Syria’s civil war and a missile defense system in Europe, as well as on domestic issues, such as the U.S. Magnitsky Act and Russia’s response to ban American adoptions of Russians.
Argentina’s government has recently been emphasizing its dispute of the UK’s possession of the Falkland Islands (known in Argentina as the Malvinas) in order to increase nationalist sentiment, while the UK continues to assert its right to the territory. Tensions will continue as citizens of the Falkland Islands engage in an upcoming referendum on their sovereignty.