China says this year's G-20 summit in Hangzhou should be about economics, not politics

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China wanted to make proposals about global economic growth at the G-20 summit.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China wanted to make proposals about global economic growth at the G-20 summit. PHOTO: EPA

BEIJING (REUTERS) - The Group of 20 summit to be hosted by China this year should be about economics and not political issues like territorial disputes, China's foreign minister said on Friday (April 8), firing a warning shot ahead of the country's biggest diplomatic event of the year.

The summit, expected to be held in early September in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, will gather major world leaders together like Chinese President Xi Jinping and United States President Barack Obama.

Japan next month hosts a summit of the Group of Seven (G-7) nations, which China is not a part of, and has proposed discussing issues like Russia, Ukraine's conflict and the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Speaking to reporters after meeting his German counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China wanted to make proposals at the G-20 about global economic growth.

"We hope that the G-7 can be like the G-20 and concentrate on economic and development topics countries of the world are the most focused on," Mr Wang said. "...If certain countries, because of political aims, insert concrete issues like problems left over from history or disputes over territory or sovereignty into the G-20, not only will this not benefit the issues' resolution, it could impact upon the regional situation and stability and is inadvisable."

He did not elaborate or name any country.

China has rattled nerves around the region with its increasingly assertive moves over territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas.

China disputes ownership with Japan of a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea.

China claims most of the resource-rich South China Sea amid rival claims by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.