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China tells G-20 to avoid 'empty talk', cure global economy

By AFP - Sep 04,2016 - Last updated at Sep 04,2016

Hangzhou, China — Chinese President Xi Jinping urged world leaders to avoid "empty talk" and confront sluggish economic growth and rising protectionism as their summit opened Sunday in the scenic city of Hangzhou.

Xi welcomed Group of 20 presidents and prime ministers with a handshake, and an extended clasp with Barack Obama, as both men smiled despite protocol stumbles around the US leader's visit.

The Chinese leader said the world economy "still faces multiple risks and challenges including a lack of growth momentum and consumption, turbulent financial markets, receding global trade and investment".

The rise of protectionism is challenging economic globalisation, imperilling multilateral trade arrangements, and despite regulatory reforms market volatility is gathering pace, he said.

"We hope the Hangzhou summit will come up with a prescription for the world economy and lead it back to the road of strong, balanced, comprehensive and sustainable growth," Xi said.

The G-20 brings together representatives of 85 per cent of the world's GDP and two-thirds of its population. 

But experts fear the gathering will be short on substance, with no acute crisis pushing leaders to defy rising populist sentiment and to take difficult steps such as liberalising trade.

In a circular conference hall in Hangzhou — the eastern city left deserted by a vast security operation — Xi told leaders the G-20 "should work with real action, with no empty talk".

China is hoping a successful meeting will portray it as an assured and powerful nation ready to assume a role on the international stage that befits its status as the world's second-largest economy.


Authorities shut thousands of factories to try to clear the skies of smog, and encouraged residents to leave town on free holidays, as well as detaining dozens of dissidents to prevent any hint of unrest.

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