The G20 Summit: Six Things to Watch For

The G20 Summit: Six Things to Watch For
Photo Credit: Reuters / 達志影像

What you need to know

President Xi will use his home-field advantage to ‘tell the world about the China ideology, China’s viewpoint and the China plan.’

As China shuts down factories and gives residents of Hangzhou extra vacation days outside the city ahead of hosting its first G20 summit from Sep. 4-5, and as the world waits to find out how Beijing intends to tackle declining global economic growth, state-run media Xinhua news has compiled a list of “six things to watch for” during the G20.

Top of the list is an extensive breakdown of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) schedule and speeches in Hangzhou.

Chen Fengying (陳鳳英), a researcher at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told Xinhua that Xi will use the home-field advantage to “tell the world about the ‘China ideology, China’s viewpoint and the China plan.’”

This is the first time the G20 summit is hosted by China, and only the second summit to be held in Asia. The 2010 G20 summit was held in Seoul, South Korea.

Another watchpoint is what new ideas for economic development the Hangzhou summit might provide. Hangzhou is the base for many of China’s notable tech firms such as Ali Baba, and the information economy contributed to 45% of Hangzhou’s GDP growth in 2015.

Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Baodong (李保東) said the summit would focus on “improving regulations and ways for creative growth,” and “more efficient global finance management” in accordance with the theme of the Hangzhou Summit — “Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy.”

Diplomatic maneuvers between the 20 leaders are also something to watch for, according to the report, with special focus on Xi and U.S President Barack Obama’s bilateral meeting. This is also the first time Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Theresa May will visit China.

The presence of many developing nations such as Laos, Chad, Senegal and Kazakhstan is also a key focus point of the Hangzhou Summit and will drive talks on inclusivity and sustainable development.

Ruan Zongze (阮宗澤), the Executive Vice President at the China Institute of International Studies, said “the goal of the G20 summit was to solve development issues, so it was important to include voices from more developing countries,” Xinhua reports.

The Business 20 (B20) summit, a meeting of over 800 business leaders held before the summit on Sep 3-4, will also focus on global economic development and provide a “platform for Chinese entrepreneurs to take part in the drafting process of international business regulations,” Xinhua writes.

The sixth point to watch, according to the article, is how the G20 summit will create a tighter network to combat corruption.

Li Chengyan (李成言), Director of the Research Center for Government Integrity Building at Peking University, believes that members of the G20 should adhere to the same legal standards for prosecuting corruption charges to achieve comprehensive action against corruption, Xinhua reports.

Edited by J. Michael Cole