G20 finance ministers' talks hampered by US-China standoff
G20 finance ministers have held telephone talks but were not expected to issue a joint declaration, as divisions persist primarily between the US and China over responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic.To get more china finance news, you can visit shine news official website.
The G7 group of mainly western leaders did manage a joint communique after a similar teleconference last week, but it was remarkable for making no reference to China, the world’s second largest economy. A full G20 world leaders teleconference is due later this week, but whether a consensus can be reached on a global fiscal stimulus is not clear.
After the G20 talks, the IMF’s managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, said the outlook for global growth was negative, and that the world was facing “a recession at least as bad as during the global financial crisis or worse”.
Praising the bold monetary steps taken so far, she said more was needed on the fiscal front if growth was to be possible in 2021. “Investors have already removed $83bn from emerging markets since the beginning of the crisis, the largest capital outflow ever recorded. We are particularly concerned about low-income countries in debt distress,” she said, adding that 80 countries had already applied to the IMF for emergency financial relief.
Finance ministers insisted Monday’s virtual G20 meeting had been worthwhile.France’s Bruno Le Maire tweeted had discussed the pandemic’s “violent impact on the global economy, financial support for developing countries, and preparations for a common exit strategy from the crisis”.
Hopes of a coordinated international response are hampered, however, by a diplomatic and propaganda standoff between China and the US focused on claiming moral authority once the virus is brought under control.
The two countries have been trading insults for the past two weeks over responsibility for the pandemic. They are also competing to show that they are able not only to bring it under control, but also to emerge stronger economically afterwards.
Chinese officials suppressed information about the outbreak, but Beijing has positioned itself as a global benefactor, sending doctors and medical supplies to Iran, Iraq, the Philippines and Serbia. Serbia’s president, Aleksandar Vučić, greeted a Chinese aircraft at Belgrade airport, applauding the newly arrived doctors and kissing the Chinese flag. “European solidarity does not exist,” he said. “That was a fairy tale on paper.”Two teams of Chinese doctors with aid supplies have arrived in Italy and a third is on the way.
The Chinese premier, Xi Jinping, has also told the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, that Spain can can count on China’s assistance and supplies. “Sunshine always comes after the rain,” he said. The European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, announced last week that China would provide Europe with 2m masks and other supplies.
The Chinese private sector has joined the effort. Beijing’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, tweeted this week: “Jack Ma e-commerce tycoon pledged to donate 100,000 masks, 20,000 test kits, 1,000 protective suits & face shields to each of the 54 countries in Africa”.China has also not been slow to spot a commercial gap in the market. Some factories are working round the clock to produce the ventilation equipment the US and EU need. “There’s literally no country in the world that doesn’t want to buy a ventilator from China right now.” said Li Kai, the director of Beijing Andromedae. “We have tens of thousands of orders waiting. The issue is how fast we can make them.”
It may be easier for China to show this enterprise, because as the country seemingly first in and out of the epidemic, it is further ahead on the learning curve.
Following a phone call between Xi and the UN secretary general, António Guterres, China has shared the genome sequence of the virus and its scientists have sped up publication of papers on it.
Beijing’s international standing has only been helped by floundering in Washington, and Donald Trump’s determination to indulge in a nationalistic blame game.As the personal stakes have risen for the US president, so has his anti-Chinese rhetoric. He has also defended his decision to repeatedly refer to “the Chinese virus”.
The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who has described the Chinese Communist party as the biggest threat to world security, went further, attacking China’s lack of transparency and accusing it of putting countless lives at risk.
Chinese officials for their part have blamed the outbreak on the US. The Chinese ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, did however use an interview on HBO at the weekend to reiterate his statement of 9 February that it would be “crazy” to spread conspiracy theories that the virus had been created in a US military laboratory.