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Xi to push for a united G20 at summit in Hamburg


Source: Global Times    Published: 2017-6-30

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Russia and Germany from July 3-8 and attend the G20 summit in Hamburg, where his meetings with US President Donald Trump and other heads of state are highly anticipated.

China`s Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said that this year`s G20 summit will cover many issues, including world economic trends, trade, finance, energy, climate change, Africa, health and counter-terrorism, and "China has four expectations from the summit: to implement the achievements of 2016`s G20 in Hangzhou; to build an open global economy; to push for innovation; and to unify the members."

"Unification within the G20 faces challenges due to disputes between the US and European countries on climate change and globalization," and "if we want to keep a unified G20, the G7 must stay unified first," Wang Yiwei, Director of the Institute of International Affairs at the Renmin University of China, said.

As the host of this year`s summit and EU leader, Germany, together with China, may pressure the US on climate change issues, and China and Germany might issue a joint statement on climate change, though Trump will definitely be against it, Wang said.

Pressuring Trump on climate change won`t affect Sino-US relations too much because the US has many other areas of cooperation with China. Since the US has started provoking China in the South China Sea, Taiwan and other areas, China will give a tough response, and it could be the climate issue, said Chu Yin, an associate professor at the University of International Relations.

"The US has violated its own commitment on fighting climate change, so there is nothing wrong if China and Germany put pressure on the US whether Trump likes it or not," said An Gang, a member of the academic committee at the Pangoal Institution, a Beijing-based think tank.

In addition, "China wants to push the Belt and Road initiative and BRICS cooperation within the G20, and a significant achievement of the G20 in Hangzhou is that the members agree that the current globalization regime requires structural reform, so China`s position is development-oriented," Wang added. "However, Germany wants to emphasize rule-based cooperation, which means the new cooperation modes initiated by China should follow and respect existing rules, which means contension between China and Germany also exists," he said.

Sideline meetings

Li also said the second Xi-Trump meeting is likely to take place at the summit in Hamburg, and China is keeping in touch with the US over a meeting between the two leaders.

"If the meeting materializes, they will discuss the Korean Peninsula nuclear crisis," as China shares a common stance with the US on denuclearizing the peninsula, Li said.

The first meeting between Xi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in and one with Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe might also take place in Hamburg, but Li said it depends on the schedule and Germany`s arrangements.

"China is willing to talk with other countries` leaders on significant issues face to face," Li told the Global Times.

Sino-Russian goals

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai said on Thursday that "Xi will visit Russia from July 3 to 4, and will meet with Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev," and "the visit is expected to achieve many goals."

The two leaders are expected to authorize a four-year (2017-2020) enforcement compendium of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between China and Russia, and companies and government agencies from the two countries will sign cooperation agreements on trade, investment, energy, transportation, education and media.

The treaty was signed by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Putin in 2001, and is valid for 20 years. It will be automatically extended if neither party notifies the other of its intention to terminate the treaty one year before it expires, the People`s Daily reported.

Wang Yiwei is a senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.

Key Words: G20 summit  Sino-Russian goals  Germany  Wang Yiwei  

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