Hangzhou G20 Concludes With Uncertain Results

Hangzhou G20 Concludes With Uncertain Results
Photo Credit: Reuters / 達志影像

What you need to know

Highlights surrounding the 2016 G20 summit that just concluded in Hangzou.

The 2016 G20 summit in Hangzou concluded yesterday, with Chinese state media gushing over a “successful hosting” of the event.

While headlines referring to the “historic consensus on world growth” occupied front pages in Chinese media, not all world leaders left China entirely satisfied.

Some highlights from the summit, the good and the badt:

China and U.S. to ratify Paris climate change agreement

Before the start of the summit, U.S. President Barack Obama announced in a statement, “As the world’s two largest economies and two largest emitters, our entrance into this agreement continues the momentum of Paris, and should give the rest of the world confidence –- whether developed or developing countries -– that a low-carbon future is where the world is heading.”

Obama said the U.S. and China would continue to work together to ensure the two countries are leaders in addressing climate issues, “despite [our] differences on other issues.”

North Korean missile test

Following Obama and President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) announcement and as the summit unfolded, North Korea yesterday fired three ballistic missiles into the sea and inside Japan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met on the sidelines of the summit after the missiles were launched and “agreed to cooperate on monitoring the situation,” Reuters reports.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement, “Today's reckless launches by North Korea threaten civil aviation and maritime commerce in the region.”

U.S. and Russia fail to reach agreement over Syria

Despite hopes that the U.S. and Russia would come to an agreement on ending violence in Syria, Obama said the two sides failed reach a consensus due to “’gaps of trust’ between the two governments,” CNN reports.

Despite the failed agreement, Russian state-owned media TASS reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has said an arrangement between the two countries to ease tensions in Syria might come “within a few days,” but did not provide further details.

China steel exports issue remains ambiguous

Due to new laws and policies, foreign investors in China have faced increasing difficulties in doing business in the country, and G20 member countries were looking forward to China addressing the issue, particularly the country's steel exports.

The matter came up toward the end of the G20 with China agreeing to "cooperate more closely with trading partners on its politically volatile steel exports."

The G20 steel-making economies are calling on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to form a steel forum to study production overcapacity.

This was the first time the G20 summit was hosted by China, and the second summit to be held in Asia. The 2010 G20 summit was held in Seoul, South Korea, and the 2017 G20 summit will be held in Hamburg, Germany.

G20 members include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and the E.U. Spain has become a permanent guest country of the forum.

The countries all together acount for an estimated 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two-thirds of the world’s population.

Edited by J. Michael Cole