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Chinese leader Xi: G20 must 'blaze a new trail' on trade

15 September 2016
Chinese leader Xi: G20 must 'blaze a new trail' on trade

Xi proposed that the summit should strengthen coordination of macro-economic policies, facilitate economic expansion worldwide, safeguard financial stability, make innovations on growth patterns, tap new potential, optimize global economic governance and make institutional improvements.

A tarmac tiff between U.S. and Chinese officials as President Barack Obama arrived in the city of Hangzhou prompted the posting - and prompt deleting - of an uncharacteristically sarcastic tweet by a U.S. spy agency.

But President Obama said, "Maybe as [Press Secretary] Josh [Earnest] put it, the seams are showing a little more than usual in terms of some of the negotiations and jostling that takes place behind the scenes". The joint statement reflects that ambition by calling the G-20 the "premier forum" for economic co-operation. They called for cooperation to reduce tax avoidance.

The South China Morning Post on Sunday reported an official as saying that China provides red carpets to welcome every arriving state leader, "but the USA side. turned down the proposal and insisted that they didn't need the staircase provided by the airport".

Washington has hiked import duties by 500 percent on Chinese steel to offset what it says are improper subsidies.

"The market is distorted by subsidies and other support measures, and that is the fundamental problem", said Japanese Prime Minister Shintaro Abe, according to broadcaster NHK.

Also Sunday, the president of the European Union's governing body, the European Commission, called for action on China's bloated steel industry.

In early July, in a speech marking the Communist Party of China's 95th anniversary, Xi said that China should actively participate in building global governance and strive to contribute Chinese wisdom.

The US and China have different values when it comes to media freedom, President Barack Obama said Sunday, playing down an airport dispute over his arrival that spiralled into suggestions of snubs and insults. "Eight years later, the world economy is again at a critical moment", Xi said.

The World Trade Organization is forecasting global trade growth this year at just 2.8 percent - its fifth year below 3 percent.

"The G-20 must keep up with the changing times and lead the way forward".

"We're also setting the stage so that the next USA administration comes in with a relationship that is on a strong and productive footing", Mr Obama told Mr Xi. "We want to be even more outward looking around the whole of the world, and Australia, with our long-standing ties and our close relationship, will be one of the first countries we will be looking to", she said.

Obama has played down the airport encounter.

"We must all work together to spur economic growth, to boost free trade and build a fairer economy that truly works for all", said Obama.

Security was extremely tight in Hangzhou, with parts of the city of 9 million people turned into a virtual ghost town as China seeks to ensure that the G20 summit stays incident-free.

On Monday, North Korea added to the drama by firing three ballistic missiles off its east coast.

Obama's previous suggestions that the U.S. would prioritize ongoing U.S. -EU trade talks over a one-on-one deal with Britain rankled London, but Obama said it was never meant to be a punishment.

While Seoul and Washington say the system is intended exclusively to defend against North Korea's missile threat, Beijing says it will allow the US military to peer deep into northeastern China. China warned Japan not to interfere. It was the first time Xi had raised the issue directly with Park.

China must restrain itself from worrying its neighbours in the disputed South China Sea region.

In his first meeting with May since she took office in Britain, Obama sought to demonstrate American solidarity with the United Kingdom amid the tumult over its decision to leave the European Union.