Xi Jinping should be proud because the two-day G-20 Summit, which ended yesterday, was a big success for China.

  • It was the first G-20 summit hosted by the country, and it happened in scenic city of Hangzhou.
  • Top world leaders attended, including: François Hollande, Angela Merkel, Narendra Modi, Matteo Renzi, Shinzo Abe, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Theresa May, and Barack Obama, and several more.
  • While the summit was a PR success for China, and the disputes in the South China Sea weren’t a big distraction, meaningful results were held back by a minor diplomatic issue during President Barack Obama’s arrival, anxiety over North Korean missile testing, and the US and Russia’s total failure to agree on Syria.

Here is a recap of the important outcomes from the G-20 summit:


There was an atmosphere of consensus about the need for new policies and synergies to improve the global economy in spite of public opposition to free trade and globalization, and Brexit was the center of attention. Theresa May was reminded by her fellow world leaders that it is her responsibility to keep Brexit from damaging the global economy further by having a “hard” Brexit. She confirmed that she isn’t going to use the Brexiter-proposed “points-based scheme” in which non-EU and EU citizens would be on equal footing when it comes to migration. But she hasn’t said what her alternative will be, and she must strike a difficult balance between market access and migration controls. The US, Japan, India, and South Korea pressed her for their companies based in the UK to have access to the EU markets still.


China’s big issue is protectionism. Just before the summit, Australia refused to sell China a large energy grid and the UK delayed a nuclear project which had Chinese investors. As they see it, the West is holding them back economically with anti-trade measures and isolationism. China wants a more open global economy, which will make it grow faster for everyone in their minds. Despite this rhetoric, they still only give limited access to Western investors. James Zimmerman chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China said, “President Xi accurately raised the alarm on the need to counter the increase in protectionism around the world.”

Climate Change

The most impactful announcement actually happened the day before the summit. The US and China announced that they are ratifying the Paris Agreement, from last year’s UN climate change conference. The two countries together represent 38% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, so their commitment to preventing further climate change is critical.