US-China trade war and Iran tension may overshadow G20 Osaka summit

Reuters

International forum for the world’s leading economies may be sidelined by Trump-Xi meeting; discussion of Hong Kong banned by Beijing

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The US-China trade war may overshadow the G20 summit in Osaka.

Leaders from 20 of the world’s most powerful economies will meet in Osaka, Japan on Friday and Saturday for the G20 summit.

Japanese President Shinzo Abe, who is hosting the summit, has revealed the issues he wants to discuss, including reviewing the rules for how data is shared between countries, and reducing plastic waste in the ocean.

However, most of the attention so far has been on the US and China, and whether they will resolve their ongoing trade war. Many G20 members hope they will, as the clash has affected global economic growth. The US has said that US President Donald Trump will meet with Xi Jinping, and is “comfortable with any outcome”. But officials on the mainland say China is in less of a hurry to make peace, and is waiting for the US to make the first move.

Hong Kong extradition law: Protesters hope to get the fugitive bill in front of G20 leaders

Not everyone wants the trade war to take centre stage at the summit. An official from French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said the clash is “serious” but shouldn’t take the talks “hostage”.

As well as Xi, Trump will meet individually with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is hoping to win support for sanctions on Iran. US-Iran tensions have also overshadowed this meeting. Last week, Iran shot down a US drone, leading to several tense hours before Trump eventually decided not to retaliate.

Meanwhile, anti-extradition bill protesters in Hong Kong are urging G20 leaders to press Xi over the bill at the summit, despite China saying on Monday that it would not allow any such discussion to take place.

Discussion about the extradition bill in Hong Kong has been banned by Beijing.
Photo: Felix Wong/SCMP