June 29, 2019 6:18:49 pm
The G20 Summit concluded in Japan’s Osaka Saturday after two days of hectic meetings, bilateral talks and series of dialogues between leaders of top 20 economies of the world.
On the final day of the summit, 19 countries committed to the Paris climate agreement, with the US reiterating President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the pact “because it disadvantages American workers and taxpayers”.
While Trump’s decision to restart trade talks with China remained the highlight of the two-day summit, several other issues also garnered global attention in Osaka.
India stresses on ending support to terrorism
Apart from committing to the Paris agreement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held separate bilateral meetings with leaders of Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey, Australia, Singapore and Chile besides participating in the Japan-US-India trilateral meeting. Modi discussed a host of key issues, including trade, counter-terrorism, defence, maritime security and sports.
During the meetings, Modi pitched his idea for a global conference on terrorism, which he had proposed in the Maldives earlier this month. Meanwhile, India Friday refused to become a signatory to the Osaka declaration on digital economy that was signed by 24 countries and groupings. The issue of data for development was flagged by India at the BRICS leaders’ meeting, which Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said had emerged as a “major issue” in international rule-making.
During his meeting with Trump, Modi discussed a host of key issues, including trade, defence and 5G communications networks. PM Modi stressed on the need to stop all the mediums of support to terrorism and racism. “Terrorism is the biggest threat to humanity. It not only kills innocents but also severely affects the economic development and social stability,” he said.
During his meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the two countries set an ambitious $50 billion target for bilateral trade by 2025. Modi also invited the G20 countries to join a global coalition on disaster resilience, saying disasters require quick and effective remedial measures as they invariably affect the poor the most.
19 countries vow support to Paris agreement
In the final communique at the G20, world leaders vowed to tackle climate change, which is showing its impact globally with rising temperatures and everchanging weather patterns.
According to AP, leaders, in the document released at the end of the two-day summit Saturday, said they would try to lower emissions by financing sustainable development and better innovation. Japan has pushed for the Osaka summit to become a landmark for progress on environmental issues, including tackling the global problem of plastic waste and recommitting to efforts to counter climate change.
US-China trade talks dominate Summit
The stalled trade negotiations between the United States and China are set to return as President Donald Trump and Chinese premier Xi Jinping agreed to recommence dialogue.
The decision came after a marathon meeting between the two leaders where Trump assured that no further tariffs would be levied on Chinese exports. “We’re right back on track and we’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters after an 80-minute meeting with Jinping.
Trump said he would not lift existing import tariffs but would refrain from slapping new levies on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods – which would have effectively extended tariffs to everything China exports to America.
“We’re holding back on tariffs and they’re going to buy farm products. If we make a deal, it will be a very historic event,” Trump said. “China is sincere about continuing negotiations with the United States … but negotiations should be equal and show mutual respect,” the foreign ministry quoted Xi as saying.
China warns of ‘severe threats’ to global order
China also held a meeting with three African leaders and said protectionism and “bullying” were threatening the world order, AFP reported. President Xi Jinping held talks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and Senegal President Macky Sall.
“All leaders in the meeting stressed that unilateralism, protectionism, and bullying practices are on the rise, posing severe threats to economic globalisation and international order, and severe challenges to the external environment of developing countries,” Chinese foreign ministry official Dai Bing told reporters.
Leaders agree on bilateral visits
Ahead of closing of the Osaka Summit, Trump expressed that he would like to see North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un this weekend at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. North Korea said a meeting would be “meaningful” if it happened.
The two leaders have met twice in the past. Trump made the offer to meet Kim in a comment on Twitter about his trip to South Korea. “While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!” he said. Trump later told reporters his offer to Kim was a spur-of-the-moment idea: “I just thought of it this morning.”
Meanwhile, Xi Jinping agreed “in principle” to pay a state visit to Japan next spring at the invitation of Prime Minister Abe. Last year, Abe had visited Beijing, the first official visit by a Japanese prime minister since 2011. Today, he extended the spring invitation to Xi during a meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka. “I want to enhance Japan-China relations to the next height by welcoming President Xi Jinping to Japan during cherry blossom next year,” Abe said.
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