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G20 summit 2019- All the latest updates

G20 summit 2019- All the latest updates

Doris Ukaonu

The annual summit of the Group of 20 nations is underway in Osaka, Japan. The G20 is an international leaders forum attended by leaders and stakeholders of 19 countries and the European Union, primarily to promote international financial stability.

Naturally, deliberating on the current trade war between China and the United States, the world’s two biggest economies is the most important issue for the day.

The attendees represent more than 80 percent of the world’s economic output and two-thirds of its people.

Here are the latest updates:

Merkel hopes for US-China trade resolution

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hoped the US and China would make some progress in putting an end to their ongoing trade dispute.

“We hope that discussions between China and the U.S. on the margins of this conference, along with other talks, perhaps lead to success,” she told reporters.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a bilateral meeting with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019
 Trump holds a bilateral meeting with Merkel at the G20 leaders’ summit [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

Trump prepares for ‘productive’ talks with Xi on trade war

US President Donald Trump said he hoped for productive talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on a trade war that is casting a shadow on global growth, but added he had not made any promises about a reprieve from escalating tariffs.

“We’ll see what happens and what comes out of it,” Trump told reporters after a series of meetings with leaders where he made clear his priority was a two-way trade deal to boost the US economy.

China hopes the US can meet it halfway in G20 talks

China’s Foreign Ministry expressed hope Washington can “meet China halfway” as President Xi prepares to meet Trump amid a costly tariff fight over trade and technology.

“We hope that the US can meet China halfway and work together with us to promote a positive result from the meeting,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. “This is in the interest of both countries and also meets the common expectation of the international community.”

Russia, India, China condemn ‘unilateralism’

Leaders of Russia, India and China have urged joint action against unilateralism.

Meeting on Friday on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about ways to bolster ties between their nations.

Russia must end ‘irresponsible activity’, May tells Putin

British Prime Minister Theresa May told Putin that Russia must end its “irresponsible and destabilising activity” if relations between the two countries, soured by the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil, were to improve.

Hong Kong still a hot button issue

In a meeting with President Xi, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe brought up the issue of the ongoing protests against a proposed law in Hong Kong that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China.

Abe said it was important to preserve the territory’s freedoms for it to “prosper under ‘one country, two systems’ policy.”

Climate change divides G20 nations

The US is trying to get G20 leaders to soften their stance against climate change. But the EU countries have fiercely rejected it. French President Emmanuel Macron said removing any reference to the Paris deal in the final statement would be a red line for him.

Focus on technology and data

After the photo session, leaders attended the “Side-Event on Digital Economy”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a “fair, just, and non-discriminatory market environment” and added that “data to the digital economy is the same as oil to industrial economies”.

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President Trump’s comments struck a more cautious note: “At the same time as we expand digital trade, we must also ensure the resilience and security of our 5G network,” he said.

Xin Jinping at the G20 Summit, Osaka, Japan
Chinese President Xi Jinping says data is to the digital economy what oil is to industry [Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool/Reuters]

Trade war damages global growth

EU leaders on Friday warned of the damage that escalating US-China trade frictions were inflicting on the global economy, as the summit got underway.

The US-China trade relations are “difficult” and contributing to a slowdown in the global economy, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a news conference, Reuters reported.

No awkward moments for Saudi crown prince

Al Jazeera’s James Bays on how the Japanese have avoided upsetting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at this year’s G20: “It’s worth noting that the last time there was a G20 in Buenos Aires, the family photo focused on him because there were some that wouldn’t shake his hand.

Trump and Mohammed bin Salman at G20 Summit, Japan
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was given a much warmer welcome to this year’s G20 summit compare with the 2018 gathering in Buenos Aires [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

China’s Xi says Gulf region is at a ‘crossroads’

Chinese President Xi said on Friday the Gulf region is now in a very sensitive situation and is “standing at the crossroads of war and peace”, state media reported.

China always stands on the side of peace and opposes the war, Xi told United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, state news agency Xinhua said.

Trump’s ‘good cop, bad cop’ act

Mason Richey, a professor of international relations at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, tells Al Jazeera: “I think that Trump is going to be interested in playing up the positive side of the relationships that the US has with allies and strategic partners whether that be Japan, or whether that be NATO or whether that be India.


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