China to focus G-20 summit on economy

BEIJING • China will seek to keep Group of 20 (G-20) leaders focused on economic development when they meet in Hangzhou next month.

When asked whether China will allow discussion of the South China Sea issue during the Sept 4-5 summit meeting, Vice-Foreign Minister Li Baodong said leaders should not be distracted by other topics.

The summit is about global economic governance, trade and investment, he said at the briefing in Beijing yesterday. "The consensus is to focus on economic development and not to be distracted by other parties. If we want to do something successfully, we must focus on it wholeheartedly, so the Hangzhou summit must focus on economic issues, on how to achieve sustainable, robust and balanced growth."

Leaders of the world's largest economies will gather in the country at a time of slowing trade and tepid global economic growth.

China suffered a setback last month when an arbitral tribunal at The Hague rejected its claims to most of the South China Sea. It has largely ignored the ruling.

On the economic front, China's recent stabilisation showed signs of faltering last month, as private businesses remain reluctant to invest and the authorities seek to curb financial risks and cut excess capacity. Policymakers have had success in restoring calm to the nation's markets, a year after China's shock devaluation of the yuan rocked assets around the world.

Speaking at the same briefing, People's Bank of China deputy governor Yi Gang said yuan internationalisation is a market-driven process, and its development has surpassed expectations. Mr Yi said he is confident in the yuan's internationalisation process.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2016, with the headline 'China to focus G-20 summit on economy'. Print Edition | Subscribe