As the leaders of the G20 convened in Hangzhou, President Xi Jinping had hoped the summit would be an opportunity to demonstrate Beijing’s role as a global economic convener who concretely laid steps to boost sluggish global growth. However, it wasn’t the summit meetings that attracted the most attention but more the sidelines, including the airport tarmac.
President Obama’s final visit to China of his presidency was marred on his arrival at the airport by Chinese officials attempting to manhandle both the White House press corps and the US National Security Advisor Susan Rice and her deputy, Ben Rhodes. Reminding this global gathering of the tensions on the Korean peninsula, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un even fired three ballistic missiles on the final day of the summit. Back home, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel faced losses in her home state elections on Sunday.
Britain’s new Prime Minister Theresa May hoped this summit would be an opportunity for the UK to assert its post-Brexit global role but was bluntly rebuffed both in a long policy white paper Japan published chiding the UK of the economic consequences of their vote and President Obama reminding Ms. May that the UK’s still in the back of the line on trade deals. President Putin even couldn’t resist jabbing the new Prime Minister in their first meeting.
A stronger global financial architecture with deeper coordination and cooperation continues to be marred by virulent populism, which has riled global politics and has brought to prominence political leaders who see globalization as the enemy of the goodAndrew Bowen