G20 communique draws positive reactions from US, China

Leaders of G20 nations pose for a group photo. Photo: www.g20.org/en

The 2018 G20 summit, which took place in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires on November 30 - December 1, has closed with a joint declaration, announced Mauricio Macri, the host country's president.

"We have agreed on a communiqué. Now I convey this responsibility to Japan, which will be the next country to host the G20," said Macri after closing the last plenary meeting during the summit.

The declaration specifically includes a statement about the need to implement a raft of reforms related to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"The multilateral trading system is falling short of its objectives and there is room for improvement," it reads.

In the declaration, leaders of the G20 nations reaffirmed their commitment to fighting climate change by upholding the Paris Agreement — with the exception of the US.

Agreements on gender equality, anti-corruption campaign, food safety, and financial sustainability were also written into the declaration, according to Macri.

The declaration omitted controversial language, like trade protectionism, given the stance of US President Donald Trump, Macri noted.

Reactions from US, China

A senior White House official praised the document, particularly the language calling for changes to the WTO and global trade.

"I think across the board it was really a resounding success," the official said on Saturday.

"For the first time ever, the G20 recognized the WTO is currently falling short of meeting its objectives and that it's in need of reform."

Trump has blamed the WTO policies for letting Beijing get a leg up on the US in trading.

"The addition of wording to explain Trump's decision to exit the Paris climate accord was also welcomed by the US," the official said.

Wang Xiaolong, director general of Chinese foreign ministry's department of international economic affairs, gave a positive reaction to the declaration.

"The G20 summit sent positive signals to international community and markets," said Wang.

During the meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on global leaders to uphold partnership, market access, and equality and inclusion.

Xi also said that China supports the WTO reform and efforts to handle climate changes, but refuses anything that might harm new emerging markets.

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