In Buenos Aires, security has been ramped up as world leaders prepare for the high profile summit, and residents of the city have been advised to take a long weekend away if possible. Meanwhile, thousands of anti-capitalist protesters are expected in the city.
24 hours to the opening, G20 member nations were still struggling to reach agreement on major issues including trade, migration and climate change.
When Donald Trump has called of his meeting with Putin, highlight of this summit shall focus on the planned working dinner between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday.
The following is a world media watch in relation to tensions between China and the US, especially on the escalating trade war.
Trump told The Wall Street Journal on Monday he is ready to impose tariffs on another $267 billion dollars of trade with China and indicated he is unlikely to not increase tariffs on another $200 billion of trade from 10% to 25% next year.
His economic adviser tried on Tuesday to inject some optimism into the meeting, saying there is a “good possibility” a deal can be made if “certain conditions” are met on “fairness and reciprocity,” including on issues of intellectual property, technology, ownership issues and tariffs. But Xi has been staring down that same demand since trade talks began.
Blink or fold, it may be like watching paint dry, but both men need to walk away winners if we are all to benefit.
The official offered no details on the points of dispute, but global trade tensions, fueled by President Donald Trump’s launch of a trade war against China, are expected to dominate this year’s gathering of the Group of 20, an unwieldy club of the world’s industrialized countries.
Trump said on Thursday he was open to a trade deal with China but was not sure he wanted one.
“I think we’re very close to doing something with China but I don’t know that I want to do it,” Trump told reporters.
The United States has levied additional duties of between 10 percent and 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese goods this year as punishment for what it calls China’s unfair trade practices, with the 10 percent tariffs set to climb to 25 percent next year. China has responded with its own tariffs.
Washington wants Beijing to act to reduce a US$375 billion trade surplus by opening its economy to foreign competition, increasing protection for US intellectual property, ending joint venture requirements that lead to technology transfers and cutting subsidies to state-owned industries.
It particularly wants to prevent exports to China of advanced technologies in areas such as artificial intelligence and robotics and has tightened rules on foreign investment in 27 sensitive sectors to stop Chinese deals.
US officials say China has delivered a written response to US demands for wide-ranging trade reforms, but they remain doubtful this will be enough to bring about a breakthrough when Xi and Trump meet.
The US and China relationship is in shambles. It could get worse at G20.
The Trump administration expressed confidence ahead of the meeting. “There’s a good possibility we can make a deal,” Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, told reporters on Tuesday, adding that “things have been moving very slowly between the two countries.”
Experts warn the meeting will likely prove fruitless, however. “I expect both leaders to say some nice words about the importance of bilateral ties, but not solve anything,” Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington, said.
In the lead-up to the G20, American and Chinese officials have been preparing the ground, with the Chinese side anxious to reduce tensions following a November 1 phone call between the two presidents.
But it is less clear that Washington is willing to ease pressure on China to liberalise further a foreign investment environment, seek ways to reduce a trade gap and make more conspicuous efforts to tone down concerns about Chinese pilfering of its intellectual property.
In a media briefing in Beijing, Chinese officials underscored China’s desire for a reasonable outcome in Buenos Aires. Wang Shouwen, a vice commerce minister, said: “We hope China and the US are able to resolve their problems based on mutual respect, benefits and honesty.”
However, Mr Trump is continuing to threaten further increases in tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports now set at 10 per cent but due to increase to 25 per cent from January 1. He told The Wall Street Journal this week: “The only deal would be China has to open up their country to competition from the United States.”
Mr Trump also threatened to slap tariffs on an additional US$267 billion worth of Chinese imports if negotiations with Mr Xi are unsuccessful: “If we don’t make a deal, then I’m going to put the US$267 billion additional on [at a tariff rate of either 10 per cent or 25 per cent].”
This next batch of Chinese imports might include laptops and Apple iPhones, which are among China’s biggest exports to the US.
Earlier this week, ahead of the G20, Trump said he was preparing to hike current 10% tariffs on Chinese goods up to 25% if he and Xi break bread but leave without breaking through the wall of issues between them.
For its part, China is accusing the U.S. of engaging in “trade bullyism” while holding up a list of 142 concessions it offered to the U.S.last week as proof it’s compromising. Trump administration officials replied the concessions had “nothing new” and didn’t include any real changes President Trump has demanded.
South China Morning Post
It’s said that there are no winners in a trade war. But as US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping prepare to meet in Buenos Aires this weekend, the consensus is that China will sit down in a weaker economic position.
However, most analysts agree that neither side has much to gain from prolonging the conflict.
“China’s in a much weaker position, but that doesn’t mean the US is in a strong position,” said Richard Duncan, an independent economist and publisher of the video-newsletter Macro Watch.
“Its economy could also be thrown into a very severe crisis through a [prolonged] trade war with China, while China’s economy could completely implode.”
“It’s hard to reach an agreement at the G20 summit,” said Ding Shuang, chief Greater China economist at Standard Chartered Bank. “The most likely scenario is that both agree to have further talks, so that the 25 per cent tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese merchandise can be postponed and the tension can be de-escalated.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has accused the US and China of putting the global economy at risk if they don’t reach agreement to de-escalate their trade war at a critical meeting between the two superpowers at the G20 leaders’ summit in Buenos Aires.
“It is about the two biggest economies addressing their differences to provide certainty and stability to the global economy. We need them to agree on a constructive way forward on global trade.
“We cannot pretend that ongoing trade tensions do not pose real threats to the global economy.”
Speaking before he left for Argentina, Mr Trump said: “I think we’re very close to doing something with China, but I don’t know that I want to do it because what we have right now is billions and billions of dollars coming into the United States in the form of tariffs or taxes. So I really don’t know.