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Commentary: Count on China to lead G20
The city of Hangzhou is already eager for the annual event to begin and hopes are high that China's leadership of the group will breathe fresh life into the quest for the elusive global recovery.
While agreeing that an early resumption of healthy growth is a matter of urgency, G7 leaders, with growth issues enough of their own, appear increasingly impotent against a global economy that refuses to obey, and seem unable to bridge differences even between themselves.
With more than 80 percent of the world's people and two-thirds of global economic output, G20 deserves and is expected to play a bigger role in managing the global economy.
China comes to the G20 presidency with expectations high. Can the country's leadership propel the G20 mechanism to the forefront of economic governance?
The focus of the Hangzhou summit will be sustained global growth. China will use the conference to marshal developing and developed countries alike to throw their weight behind growth through innovation across the board.
Though China itself is also coping with the slowdown in global economy, the country comes to Hangzhou with fresh energy and ready to lead, as its efforts to seek a new model of slower and more sustainable make headway.
Driving the G20 agenda is about much more than just organizing a pleasant meeting where world leaders feel comfortable and can discuss issues of mutual concern in a tolerant atmosphere. Agenda-setting demands flexible negotiation skills and an adroit exercise of soft power.
China has talked to G20 members and non-members alike on the program for the summit. As Foreign Minister Wang Yi put it, China wants coordinated macro policy among all G20 members leading to robust, sustainable, balanced growth.
Only when the world's economy is truly open can we expect to see real revitalization of trade and investment. China expects the meeting to propose substantive improvements to global economic governance and international financial stability.
China expects G20 members keep the climate change promises they made in Paris. Likewise, China can do a lot to close the gap between demand for infrastructure financing and supply, but cannot do everything.
Hangzhou is a rare opportunity for China's voice to be heard on a host of long-term issues that matter to the developing world and to the development of the world.