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Spotlight: China to host 2016 G20 summit amid high expectations

from:新华网2015-11-17 15:23

ANTALYA, Turkey, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- China will host the 2016 Group of Twenty (G20) summit in the eastern city of Hangzhou, best known for its scenic West Lake, on Sept. 4-5, President Xi Jinping announced here Monday.

Its theme will be "Building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy," Xi said while addressing a working lunch during the just-concluded 10th G20 summit in this Turkish resort city.

China's preparations, Xi told world leaders, will be focused on innovating upon growth patterns, improving global economic and financial governance, boosting international trade and investment, and promoting inclusive and interconnected development.

"We need to increase the representation and voice of the emerging-market economies and developing countries (in global governance), so as to enhance the capabilities of the world economy to resist risks," the president said.

Explaining China's selection of the theme and priorities, Xi noted that although the world economy has walked out of crisis, the recovery remains highly fragile and growth underpowered.

"The trends and policies of major economies are becoming increasingly divergent," he said. "We are in dire need of new sources of growth to push for a new round of prosperity for the world economy."

Meanwhile, the reform of global economic governance has not progressed smoothly over recent years, and the G20 members need to take concerted actions to lead international economic cooperation, Xi added.

The president also called for concerted efforts to help the group shift from a mechanism of crisis response to one of long-term governance, so as to consolidate its status as a main forum for global economic governance.

"China will take an open, transparent and inclusive attitude in the preparations, and will enhance communication and coordination with all G20 members to jointly maintain, build and develop the group in a sound way," Xi said.

China will take over the G20 presidency on Dec. 1, 2015, and a series of related meetings will be held next year, according to Wang Xiaolong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's special envoy on G20 affairs.

U.S. President Barack Obama voiced support for China's presidency, saying that he looks forward to attending the Hangzhou summit.

The United States is willing to work with China closely to ensure the success of the meeting, Obama told Xi on the sidelines of the Antalya summit.

Hangzhou, a centuries-old city with a population of nearly 8.9 million, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province.

Zhejiang, well-known for its robust privately owned businesses, ranked fourth among the 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland in terms of GDP in 2014.

Xi worked in Zhejiang between 2002 and 2007 as head of the provincial committee of the Communist Party of China.

The G20 is a main forum for global economic and financial cooperation that brings together the world's major advanced and emerging economies, which represent around 85 percent of global GDP, 80 percent of world trade, and two-thirds of the world population.

The G20 started in 1999 as a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. The members included 19 individual countries along with the European Union.

In 2008, the first G20 summit was held in Washington, D.C., in the United States, and the group played a key role in the response to the global financial crisis.

The G20 presidency rotates annually among its members. To ensure continuity, the presidency is supported by a "troika" made up of the current, immediate past and next host countries. In 2015, the members of the "troika" are Turkey, Australia and China.

Last year's G20 summit was held in Brisbane, Australia.

Also on Monday, the second day of the Antalya summit, Xi shared his views on the reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and anti-corruption.

He expressed appreciation over the IMF's suggestion in a recent review report on the inclusion of the Chinese currency into its Special Drawing Rights basket.

On anti-corruption, Xi pledged "zero-tolerance" and called for international cooperation, saying China supports the G20 in stepping up collaboration on hunting fugitives and recovering illicit assets.

The two-day summit concluded Monday with the release of a leaders' communique and an anti-terror declaration.

After the summit, Xi left for Manila, the Philippines, to attend the 23rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 18-19.

WORLD EXPECTATIONS

International experts have voiced their expectations and offered suggestions on China's hosting of the G20 summit.

"It will be a success and we have some reasons to believe in that," said Yuksel Gormez, a senior economist with the Central Bank of Turkey.

"Remember the APEC meeting in Beijing last year? The organizational capacity of China is very strong. Next year, every single G20-related meeting will be a great meeting," he said.

Gormez noted that China is expected to discuss many issues with the world, such as green growth, sustainable development and creating a more efficient trading mechanism.

John Kirton, a political science professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs with the University of Toronto, proposed that the G20 and China send out a strong signal of confidence to show that the G20 knows how to get economy back on track.

He argued that since the last G20 summit baseline growth has been lower than expected, and the world has seen incomplete implementation of the promises made under the Brisbane action plan.

At the Brisbane summit, G20 leaders agreed to put policies in place that would raise their collective GDP by an additional 2 percent by 2018.

The world needs to have confidence in a G20 that is willing and able to get growth back on track, he said, adding that the G20 cannot acquire confidence without China doing the same.

Actually, Xi has already shown the world China's confidence while addressing the summit on Sunday.

In the next five years, China will adhere to a path of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, and will encourage a system that nurtures innovation, he said.

The president said the Chinese economy is predicted to grow about 7 percent this year, which will continue to contribute about one third of global growth.

"China has the confidence and capability to maintain medium-high growth," Xi told world leaders.

Guven Sak, chairman of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, an Ankara-based think tank, said that Turkey is trying to make the G20 summit this year more inclusive and aims to make it a bridge for the G20 and other countries, but it is just a beginning.

He suggested China continue on this track and make the G20 a more inclusive place for non-G20 countries.

Tristram Sainsbury, a research fellow at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute for International Policy, hailed the Chinese presidency as one of the "most highly anticipated" years in the G20's short history as a high-level forum.

He suggested that China be ambitious but realistic, and focus on a few specific and pragmatic goals.

"The hope is that China can leave a positive legacy that reverberates for years to come," he added.

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