Amid blue skies, closed factories and schools, the iconic West Lake radiates serenity amid the frenzied security drill and hubbub of international diplomacy. With China, anything is possible, and the sheer scale of ambition is staggering as China hosts its first summit of the world’s major and emerging economies in the eastern city of Hangzhou, the refuge of poets and dreamers and now the hub of entrepreneurs, innovators like the legendary Jack Ma of Alibaba and a symbol of China’s global aspirations.
As world leaders touch down in Hangzhou for the 11th G20 summit, all eyes will be on China, which is aspiring to lead the push for global growth and reform of the international financial architecture that remains heavily tilted in favour of developed countries despite the tectonic shift of economic gravity from the west to the rest. The focus will be on the two Asian giants – India and China – which have defied the global slowdown and are still growing rapidly, emerging as beacons of hope in times of crisis.
For China’s President Xi Jinping, the G20 summit in Hangzhou has a personal connection and emotive resonance. President Xi has fond memories of living in the city for five years where he served as the Communist Party chief of Zhejiang province. Hangzhou has transformed since Xi’s early days into a hub of high-tech manufacturing and innovation, and it’s therefore fitting that Mr Xi has chosen China’s most beautiful city, a blend of the traditional and modern, as a symbol of China’s surging global profile as he hosts what he hopes will be milestone G20 summit in initiating a new phase of international economic cooperation to restore global growth and revamp the archaic global governance architecture. If he succeeds, the fabled blue skies of Hangzhou and the glowing West Lake, celebrated by poets Bai Juyi and Su Dongpo, will be remembered for offering a fresh burst of inspiration for reconfiguring the world order. Read more….