The G20 summit went well for China, but other nations do not feel the same. Other attendees, such as Europe, U.S., and Canadian businesses criticize that they were unfairly being kept out of the Chinese marketplace. Despite some uncertainties, China still closed the 2016 G20 summer conference congregating with world leaders, in the southeastern city of Hangzhou, on Sept. 4, 2016.
While many celebrated Labor Day weekend with cookouts and family outings, political leaders from all over the world gathered together at the West Lake State House. The G20 conference was a two-day discussion on the fragile state of the global economy. However, it did not turn out to be an ordinary G20 meeting.
For starters, it was no accident that the G20 summit was held in the city of Hangzhou, whose history goes back over 2,200 years. In fact, it is here, where the Qing Dynasty began, not to mention where the rule of County System was first brought in.
The G20 summit was a time for China to shine and take a little bit of that splendor with them. The Hangzhou summit has been called another “pioneering move” for the Chinese. A country that was eager to show the world they are the next rising superpower, and indeed, this conference gave them the opportunity to flex their muscles, and they did.
These G20 meetings are no secret. In fact, they go all the way back to its birth in 1999, where it was created with the purpose of studying, assessing, and endorsing sophisticated dialogue of policy issues relating to the promotion of global financial loyalty.
These summits have taken place once a year, since 2011. France has always been the chair of the G20 summit, therefore, China being able to host the affair was not only an honor but an accomplishment. Since 2008, this makes them the second Asian nation to host the G20 political event.
China was not shy about putting the city on notice days before leaders arrived for the G20 summit. In fact, they went as far as suspending tours and making sure Hangzhou was free of traffic and crowds. However, these extreme measures upset the migrant workers. According to CNN, they left the city merely because they were not able to work. For these refugee workers, the G20 conference turned out to be an enormous and growing inconvenience, due to preparation procedures.
Just because the G20 went well for China does not mean the feelings are mutual among the other countries in attendance. One seasonal worker, interviewed by CNN, mentioned that authorities were tight on security throughout the entire city. They even took away his gas tank, which made it impossible for his family to cook. He was told that it did not meet safety procedures. “Normal citizens are suffering in this city. All our lives are being affected every day,” stated the worker, who chose to stay anonymous.
It was not just the citizens that were unhappy, inside the meeting, China was accused of being resistant to some market moves. It was stated that the country makes it difficult for countries like the U.S. and Great Britain to bring in new industries. A primary concern for foreign stockholders, in China, is that they are giving other countries a hard time about doing business in the country.
Although China does not quite see it that way, they have made promises to implement some changes to make everyone content. However, some nations like the U.S. do not appear to be hopeful, especially after the tension regarding the brush off of President Barack Obama’s arrival on September 4.
China’s leaders have been suspect for being shady toward the U.S. president. He was not given a set of steps to leave his plane, upon arrival in Hangzhou, before the start of the G20 meeting.
As stated by Mexico’s previous ambassador to China, Jorge Guajardo, it was odd that Obama did not get that special treatment with the stairs, the red carpet, and the whole nine yards. However, other political leaders, such as the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the British Prime Minister Theresa May, received those greetings.
Was it a planned cold-shoulder by China? Guajardo mentioned that he believed so: “Nothing the Chinese do is by mistake.”
Time will tell how events play out between now and the July 2017 G20 summit, in Hamburg Germany. While the conference seemed to go well for China other nations may not feel the same. However, one thing that is for sure, China has proved to the world, that they are no longer the new kids on the block, but a force to be reckoned with.
By Jomo Merritt
Edited by Jeanette Smith
CNN.com: Blue skies and police vans: China prepares to host its first G20 summit
Reuters: G20 a success for China, but hard issues kicked down the road
The Washington Post: China arrested dozens of reporters and activists for G-20 — but did any world leader object?
Image Courtesy of Adam’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License