President Xi Opens Dialogue Among the Nations of the G20

September 5, 2016

In his comments opening up the meeting of the G20, President Xi Jinping reiterated some of the significant comments he had addressed the day before to the meeting of business leaders attending the Business 20, underlining the fact that the world is facing an important juncture in which the decisions taken by the Hangzhou Summit will be absolutely crucial in the direction the world will take. In spite of efforts made at global financial reform, the situation was becoming critical, Xi said, pointing to the decline of international trade, the growth of protectionism, to the aging of the populations, and the decline in the growth of populations. “In spite of the reforms, there are multiple risks,” he said. “The risk of excessive leverage and bubbles continues to build.” “The G20 represents the world's major economies and therefore the world places great hope in the solutions Hangzhou will provide.” He then reiterated the four points he had previously outlined to the business leaders. “We must strengthen policy coordination and uphold financial stability. We must coordinate fiscal policy and structural reform.” Secondly, “we should break a new path for growth,” he said. “The G20 must change its policy approach and place equal importance on both short-term and long-term management. We have decided to break a new path through innovation, structural reform, a new industrial revolution, and the development of the digital economy,” Xi said.

“Thirdly, we should improve global economic governance and strengthen traditional safeguards. We must continue to improve the international monetary and financial system and the governance system of the international financial institutions, and fully leverage the role of the IMFs Special Drawing Rights. We have to strengthen the global financial safety net and enhance cooperation in financial regulation and combat corruption in order to boost the resilience of the economy against risks.

“Fourthly, we must build an open global economy and continue the facilitation of and liberalization of trade  and investment. Infrastructure connectivity should be enhanced so as to bring developing countries and small- and medium-sized countries into the value chain.

“Fifthly we should implement the 2030 Sustainable Agenda.” Xi then referred again to the rise in the Gini coefficient [of income inequality], saying that this must be seen as a warning sign, and underlined the continued need for the support to Africa and to the less developed countries.

Xi then outlined his proposal for reform of the G20.  He said it had to be transformed from “a crisis response mechanism to a mechanism of long-term governance,” and that “it must play a leading role in dealing with any ensuing economic crises.” Secondly, the G20 should “honor its commitments. The G20 should be an action team instead of a talk shop,” and has to develop an action plan. “The G20 should be a platform of cooperation,” he said. “We should sustain and deepen our commitment and become more inclusive.” “We should act as partners, and as we stick together we can navigate the world crisis,” Xi said. “We must steer the giant ship on a new voyage from the shore of the Qiantang River [in Hangzhou] to the vast ocean,” he said.