Experts call summit a success
The G20 Summit that concluded on Monday is being applauded as a great success.
The two-day meeting gathered world leaders from both the developed and developing nations in the eastern China city of Hangzhou in a bid to revive global economic growth.
Cheng Li, director of the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, described the meeting as “very successful”.
“The sheer fact that world leaders went to China to attend the summit is a success, because it was at a time that the global economy is facing serious problems and every nation has their own agenda,” he said.
Li believes there have been three landmark world gatherings since China’s reform and opening up in the late 1970s — the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2010 Shanghai Expo and now the 2016 Hangzhou G20 Summit.
“The G20 Summ it is more successful because it is not just a sport s or cultural event but redefines the global political and economic order and governance,” he said, referring to the growing roles of China, India and other BRICS and developing nations.
China and the US formally joined the Paris Agreement on climate change. Chinese leaders also vowed to take measures to reduce overcapacity in response to concerns expressed by other nations, something Li felt to be encouraging.
He noted the key word for the summit was innovation — in the structure of global governance, in the ways of global governance and in how the international community tackles common challenges, especially in the trade and investment sectors.
“China has played a very positive role in these regards,” he said, adding that China’s role as a convener and mobilizer of the summit would have been unimaginable 30 or even 10 years ago.
Li stressed that innovation is impossible without opening up. “An innovative society must be an open society and a place where intellectuals have confidence,” he said, adding that there is still much left to be desired in China.
Ted Carpenter, senior fellow of defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, said the G20 in Hangzhou sent a strong message supporting open trade and warning of the dangers of protectionism.
“That was also a major theme of President Xi’s speech and was largely a response to worrisome trends in the United States,” he said.
Cheng Li, senior fellow, Brookings Institution