China warns of ‘severe threats’ to global order at G20

Chinese President Xi Jinping met three of his African counterparts Friday morning on the sidelines of the G20 summit. (Reuters)
Updated 28 June 2019

China warns of ‘severe threats’ to global order at G20

  • “All leaders in the meeting stressed that unilateralism, protectionism, and bullying practices are on the rise,” a Chinese official said
  • Presidents from Egypt, South Africa, and Senegal were present at the meeting

OSAKA: China warned on Friday that protectionism and “bullying” were threatening the world order as President Xi Jinping met other leaders at the G20 summit ahead of high-stakes talks with Donald Trump.
Xi met three of his African counterparts Friday morning on the sidelines of the G20 summit of major world economies, which opened in Osaka amid the US-China trade war, geopolitical tensions, and divisions over climate change.
“All leaders in the meeting stressed that unilateralism, protectionism, and bullying practices are on the rise, posing severe threats to economic globalization and international order, and severe challenges to the external environment of developing countries,” Chinese foreign ministry official Dai Bing told reporters.
Dai said the meeting involved Xi, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and Senegal President Macky Sall.
Although attributed to the four leaders, China’s characterization of the meeting used wording that Beijing typically wields to criticize the Trump administration, suggesting Xi may take a firm line into his Saturday meeting with the US president.
All eyes will be on whether the two leaders can agree to a truce in a trade dispute that has been damaging for the world economy.
Before arriving in Japan, Trump had said China was eager for a truce because its economy was “going down the tubes” and appeared to threaten another $325 billion in tariffs in addition to the $200 billion Washington has already imposed.
But Trump largely held his tongue Friday as official summit events got under way.
Efforts by the rivals to reach a trade deal fell apart in May, putting a heavy focus on Osaka and Saturday’s encounter.
Experts believe there is little chance of a full deal at the G20, saying the best hope is for a truce that would avoid Washington imposing new tariffs and ramping up the conflict.
But even a truce is not guaranteed, with the Wall Street Journal reporting Thursday that Beijing will not agree to any deal unless Washington lifts its ban on Chinese telecoms firm Huawei.


New Zealand volcano spews ash plume in eruption, several injured

Updated 14 min 6 sec ago

New Zealand volcano spews ash plume in eruption, several injured

  • As many as 100 people were in the vicinity when the eruption began
  • The White Island volcano is one of New Zealand’s most active
WELLINGTON: A volcano erupted in New Zealand on Monday, spewing a plume of ash thousands of feet into the air, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying tourists were among several people unaccounted for as emergency services mounted a rescue operation.
As many as 100 people were in the vicinity when the eruption began about 2:11 p.m. (0111 GMT) on White Island, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the east coast of North Island, authorities said, sending up smoke visible from the mainland.
“We believe 100 people were on or around the island,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference, adding that a rescue operation had begun, although it was too early to confirm any injuries or deaths.
“A number of people are reportedly injured and are now being transported to shore,” she added. “It does appear to be a very significant issue...particularly the scale of people affected, at this stage.”
Many of those affected could be tourists, she said.
“I’m not sure if these people were on the island or near it, but there was definitely one group out there and they definitely needed medical care,” said Judy Turner, the mayor of the coastal town of Whakatāne, near White Island.
“There were some injuries and the focus is on getting these injured people back safely and to get them to a hospital.”
There seemed to be no danger for people in coastal areas farther away, she added.
The island’s immediate surroundings were hazardous because of the eruption, the National Emergency Management Agency said in a statement, adding that falling ash might affect some areas.
The “short-lived eruption” threw an ash plume about 12,000 ft (3,658 m) high, New Zealand’s geoscience agency GNS Science said in a statement, but added there were no current signs of an escalation.
The White Island volcano is one of New Zealand’s most active.