Tuesday, August 30, 2016

China wary ahead of Hangzhou G20 Meeting

Marco Polo lauded Hangzhou as “the world's most magnificent and noble city”
Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province, has undergone a major face-lift in the past year in preparation for hosting China’s first G20 Summit, set to take place this weekend. For China, the international economic forum presents a rare opportunity for the country to take on a high-profile leadership role in reshaping the global economic agenda. Even hundreds of factories in Hangzhou and the surrounding areas have been ordered to suspend operation until after the G20 to ensure that the meetings take place under clear blue skies.

Clouds on the horizon relate to the U.S. and other Western countries bringing up contentious non-economic issues such as the South China Sea dispute, potentially frustrating China’s G20 agenda.
There is an intense domestic political need in China to demonstrate strength on territorial issues. The arbitration court in the Hague invalidated most of China’s claims in the South China Sea in its decision. Japan has repeatedly urged all parties to abide by the ruling, angering Beijing.

As Asia’s two biggest economies, Japan and China have become embroiled even though Japan has few direct claims in the South China Sea outside of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.