US-China wrangle threatens global relations


Africa's most prominent businessman, Dr Mo Ibrahim

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) THE geopolitical tussle between the United States (US) and China poses a serious threat to multi-lateralism and global institutions.

This is according to one of the most prominent businessman to emerge from Africa, Dr Mo Ibrahim, as the 2021 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) got underway this week.

Rising tensions between the US, the current dominant superpower, and China, the rising challenger giant, have overshadowed the meeting.

“The current assault on Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF, is a cautionary tale,” Ibrahim stated.

Georgieva is accused of interfering with the rankings of the World Bank’s Doing Business annual report in 2018, when she was that institution’s Chief Executive Officer, to help improve China’s performance.

Ibrahim said this was “puzzling” given that the official responsible for that report, Professor Shantayanan Devarajan, absolved her.

“In fact, in 2018, China’s progress in the annual ranking actually stalled,” Ibrahim reminded.

Following Georgieva’s departure from the World Bank, China resumed its move up the rankings, climbing 15 places between 2019 and 2020.

Georgieva is not the only senior international civil servant caught up in US-China hostility.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO, was lambasted by then US President Donald Trump and accused of being a China ally during the advent of COVID-19.

The US subsequently suspended its membership of the WHO amid global pandemic.

“Now Dr Ghebreyesus finds himself under fire from China over the WHO’s investigation of the origin of COVID-19,” Ibrahim restated the irony.

In conclusion, Ibrahim said the pandemic had brought into stark relief why multilateralism matters.

“Global challenges are multiplying and demand a collective response,” he said.

“It will be a greater shame still if this (Georgieva) affair adds another crack to the fracturing of global institutions, weakening our collective ability to tackle growing global challenges.”

The Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and IMF will take place until Sunday.

– CAJ News


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