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Predicting China's G20 Compliance from Hangzhou to Davos

Alissa Wang, G20 Research Group
January 24, 2017
See also Comment @ G7G20.com

On January 17, 2017, Chinese president Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. Xi emphasized that amidst current economic difficulties, the world should not turn away from globalization but rather seek solutions to underlying problems such as the lack of drivers of growth, inadequate global governance and uneven global development. He delivered four priorities for the global economy, which correspond to many of the commitments made at the G20's Hangzhou Summit in September 2016, thus allowing for the prediction of which G20 commitments China will comply with. More specifically, because Xi's Davos priorities directly match 49 of the Hangzhou Summit's 213 commitments, China is more likely to comply with those commitments than with the remaining 164.

Xi's first priority is to "develop a dynamic, innovation-driven growth model" by pursuing new policy instruments, advancing structural reforms, searching for new growth models, and meeting the challenges of climate change and an aging population. His second priority is to "pursue a well-coordinated and inter-connected approach to develop a model of open and win-win cooperation." This includes the commitment to an open global economy, to strengthen global connectivity, to resist protectionism, and to facilitate global trade and investment. The third priority is to "develop a model of fair and equitable governance in keeping with the trend of the times," through offering greater representation to emerging economies, furthering progress on the 2010 voice and vote reform of the International Monetary Fund, and reaffirming the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The fourth priority is to "develop a balanced, equitable and inclusive development model" through addressing the issues of poverty, inequality, climate protection and realizing the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

With regards to Xi's first priority of innovation, 20 commitments at Hangzhou addressed this theme across several issue areas including information and communications technologies, development, labour and employment, and trade. One example is the priority placement commitment to "strengthen the G20 growth agenda to catalyze new drivers of growth, open up new horizons for development, lead the way in transforming our economies in a more innovative and sustainable manner and better reflect shared interests of both present and coming generations."

The second priority of interconnectedness and openness in trade and investment is matched by 17 commitments made at Hangzhou. One commitment, given priority placement in the leaders' declaration, pledged to "build an open world economy, reject protectionism, promote global trade and investment, including through further strengthening the multilateral trading system, and ensure broad-based opportunities through and public support for expanded growth in a globalized economy."

The third priority of developing a fair and equitable global governance system (including supporting the Paris Agreement) is matched by three commitments. Here too one commitment was given priority placement, promising to "foster an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy to usher in a new era of global growth and sustainable development, taking into account the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement."

Finally, the fourth priority of developing a model for balanced and inclusive development is matched by nine commitments made at Hangzhou. Again, one commitment received priority placement and promised to "ensure that our economic growth serves the needs of everyone and benefits all countries and all people including in particular women, youth and disadvantaged groups, generating more quality jobs, addressing inequalities and eradicating poverty so that no one is left behind."

Overall, China will likely comply with its commitments on trade, investment, international institutional reform and development. Commitments on issue areas that touch on the theme of innovation will also likely receive high compliance. Halfway between the Hangzhou Summit last September and the next G20 summit in Hamburg in early July, Xi's speech at Davos revealed some promising insights into the possible trends of China's compliance with the commitments made at its very own summit.

Appendix: Matching Commitments at Hangzhou

1) Innovation-related commitments

2016-1: We are determined to foster an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy to usher in a new era of global growth and sustainable development, taking into account the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement. (Catalysts: Priority Placement, International Law) (Issue Area: Development)

2016-2: Vision. We will strengthen the G20 growth agenda to catalyze new drivers of growth, open up new horizons for development, lead the way in transforming our economies in a more innovative and sustainable manner and better reflect shared interests of both present and coming generations. (Catalyst: Priority Placement) (Issue Area: Development)

2016-13: We are committed to tackling one of the root causes of weak growth by taking innovation as a key element of our effort to identify new growth engines for individual countries and the world economy, which will also contribute to creating new and better jobs, building a cleaner environment, increasing productivity, addressing global challenges, improving people's lives and building dynamic, cooperative and inclusive innovation ecosystems.

2016-14: We thus endorse the G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth as a new agenda encompassing policies and measures in and across the areas of innovation, the new industrial revolution and the digital economy. (Issue Area: ICT)

2016-17: We will set up a G20 Task Force supported by the OECD and other relevant international organizations to take forward the G20 agenda on innovation, new industrial revolution and digital economy, subject to the priorities of the respective future G20 presidencies, ensuring continuity and consistency with the results so far, and promoting synergies with other G20 workstreams. (Catalysts: Institutional Body, Other International Organization) (Issue Area: ICT)

2016-18: To achieve innovation-driven growth and the creation of innovative ecosystems, we support dialogue and cooperation on innovation, which covers a wide range of domains with science and technology innovation at its core. (Issue Area: ICT)

2016-19: We commit to pursue pro-innovation strategies and policies … including support for the entry of more women into these fields (Issue Area: ICT)

2016-20: [We commit to] support investment in science, technology and innovation (STI) … including support for the entry of more women into these fields (Issue Area: ICT)

2016-25: We are committed to foster exchange of knowledge and experience by supporting an online G20 Community of Practice within the existing Innovation Policy Platform and the release of the 2016 G20 Innovation Report. (Issue Area: ICT)

2016-121: We will work to ensure the benefits from economic growth, globalization and technological innovation are widely shared, creating more and better jobs, reducing inequalities and promoting inclusive labor force participation.

2016-144: We encourage the creation of innovation ecosystems that catalyze creativity and support the combination of creative ideas with entrepreneurship, science and technology for innovative growth and job creation. (Issue Area: Labour and Employment)

2016-146: We are committed to encouraging the adoption of pro-innovation strategies, policies and measures (Issue Area: ICT)

2016-148: [We are committed to] creating an online G20 Community of Practice for innovation policy and a 2016 G20 Innovation Report prepared by the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] (Catalyst: Accountability)

2016-149: [We are committed to] stimulating close dialogue with innovation partners and stakeholders, while encouraging discussion on open science and finding innovative solutions to global challenges. (Issue Area: ICT)

2016-169: [We will offer policy support for an open, and secure ICT environment, including] managing radio frequency spectrum to promote innovation. (Issue Area: ICT)

2016-173: We commit to enhance the partnership between public and private sectors as appropriate … while recognizing the importance of the business sector among others in realizing the benefits of innovation and entrepreneurship. (Catalyst: Private Sector) (Issue Area: Microeconomics)

2016-174: [We commit to enhance] the partnership between large companies and MSMEs [micro, small and medium-sized enterprises], while recognizing the importance of the business sector among others in realizing the benefits of innovation and entrepreneurship. (Catalyst: Private Sector) (Issue Area: Microeconomics)

2016-183: We are committed to improving training and skills for innovation and enhancing policies to facilitate entrepreneurship, innovation and participation in the new industrial revolution and the digital economy. (Issue Area: Labour and Employment)

2016-188: The role of youth and women in innovation and entrepreneurship for job creation should be highlighted and supported, and we commit to take steps to expand access to quality skills training and education. (Issue Area: Labour and Employment)

2016-190: We will set up a G20 Task Force supported by the OECD and other relevant IOs [international organizations] to take forward the G20 agenda on innovation, new industrial revolution and digital economy, subject to the priorities of the respective future G20 presidencies, ensuring continuity and consistency with the results so far, and promoting synergies with other G20 work streams. (Catalyst: Institutional Body) (Issue Area: ICT)

2) Openness in trade and investment

2016-4: Openness. We will work harder to build an open world economy, reject protectionism, promote global trade and investment, including through further strengthening the multilateral trading system, and ensure broad-based opportunities through and public support for expanded growth in a globalized economy. (Catalyst: Priority Placement) (Issue Area: Trade)

2016-15: We will act on the recommendations of the Blueprint in accordance with our national circumstances and in line with our vision for leadership, partnership, openness, inclusiveness, creativity, synergy and flexibility. (Issue Area: ICT)

2016-60: We will continue to address, through the FSB[Financial Stability Board]-coordinated action plan, the decline in correspondent banking services so as to support remittances, financial inclusion, trade and openness. (Catalyst: Specified Agent) (Issue Area: Financial Regulation)

2016-77: In line with the G20 Principles on Energy Collaboration, we reaffirm our commitment to building well-functioning, open, competitive, efficient, stable and transparent energy markets, fostering more effective and inclusive global energy architecture to better reflect the changing realities of the world's energy landscape, and shaping an affordable, reliable, sustainable and low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions energy future while utilizing energy sources and technologies. (Issue Area: Energy)

2016-87: We commit to further strengthen G20 trade and investment cooperation. (Issue Area: Trade)

2016-88: We reaffirm our determination to ensure a rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization [WTO] playing the central role in today's global trade. (Catalyst: Core International Organization) (Issue Area: Trade)

2016-96: We commit to working to ensure our bilateral and regional trade agreements complement the multilateral trading system, and are open, transparent, inclusive and WTO-consistent. (Catalyst: International Law) (Issue Area: Trade)

2016-98: We extend our commitments to standstill and rollback of protectionist measures till the end of 2018, reaffirm our determination to deliver on them (Issue Area: Trade)

2016-99: [We] support the work of the WTO, UNCTAD [United Nations Conference on Trade and Development] and OECD in monitoring protectionism. (Catalyst: Core International Organization) (Issue Area: Trade)

2016-100: We endorse the G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth, under which the G20 will lead by example to lower trade costs (Issue Area: Trade)

2016-101: [We endorse the G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth, under which the G20 will lead by example to] harness trade and investment policy coherence, (Issue Area: Trade)

2016-102: [We endorse the G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth, under which the G20 will lead by example to] boost trade in services, (Issue Area: Trade)

2016-103: [We endorse the G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth, under which the G20 will lead by example to] enhance trade finance, (Issue Area: Trade)

2016-104: [We endorse the G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth, under which the G20 will lead by example to] promote e-commerce development, (Issue Area: Trade)

2016-105: [We endorse the G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth, under which the G20 will lead by example to] and address trade and development. (Issue Area: Trade)

2016-106: We endorse the G20 Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking, which will help foster an open, transparent and conductive global policy environment for investment. (Issue Area: Investment)

2016-143: In line with relevant existing multilateral treaties and agreements to which we are parties, including the TRIPs [Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property] Agreement, we reaffirm the importance of adequate and effective intellectual property protection and enforcement for innovation, and support greater openness and the promotion of voluntary knowledge diffusion and technology transfer on mutually agreed terms and conditions. (Catalyst: International Law) (Issue Area: Trade)

3) Fair and Equitable global governance system

2016-1: We are determined to foster an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy to usher in a new era of global growth and sustainable development, taking into account the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement. (Catalysts: Priority Placement, International Law) (Issue Area: Development)

2016-48: We are committed to protecting the voice and representation of the poorest members [of the IMF] (Catalyst: Core International Organization) (Issue Area: IFI Reform)

2016-49: We support the World Bank Group to implement its shareholding review according to the agreed roadmap, timeframe and principles, with the objective of achieving equitable voting power over time. (Catalyst: Core International Organization) (Issue Area: IFI Reform)

4) Inclusive Development

2016-1: We are determined to foster an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy to usher in a new era of global growth and sustainable development, taking into account the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement. (Catalysts: Priority Placement, International Law) (Issue Area: Development)

2016-5: Inclusiveness. We will work to ensure that our economic growth serves the needs of everyone and benefits all countries and all people including in particular women, youth and disadvantaged groups, generating more quality jobs, addressing inequalities and eradicating poverty so that no one is left behind. (Catalyst: Priority Placement)

2016-11: We will also strive to reduce excessive imbalances, promote greater inclusiveness and reduce inequality in our pursuit of economic growth. (Issue Area: Macroeconomic Policy)

2016-109: We are committed to ensuring the benefits of our growth reach all people and maximize the growth potential of developing and low-income countries. (Issue Area: Development)

2016-110: We pledge to enhance policy coherence on sustainable development and reaffirm our commitment to further align our work with the universal implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development based on the comparative advantage and the added value of the G20 and in accordance with our national circumstances, while acknowledging that the global follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is a UN-led process. (Issue Area: Development)

2016-111: [We pledge to enhance policy coherence on sustainable development and reaffirm our commitment to further align our work with the universal implementation of the] Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, based on the comparative advantage and the added value of the G20 and in accordance with our national circumstances, while acknowledging that the global follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is a UN-led process. (Issue Area: Development)

2016-112: We commit to contributing to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by setting an example through bold, transformative collective and intended national actions in a wide range of areas. (Issue Area: Development)

2016-113: By endorsing the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which also includes high-level principles, we reaffirm our commitment to achieve the ambition of the 2030 Agenda. (Issue Area: Development)

2016-126: The G20 will continue to prioritize its work on food security, nutrition, sustainable agricultural growth and rural development as a significant contribution to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. (Issue Area: Food and Agriculture)

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Alissa Wang
Alissa Wang is the chair of summit studies for the BRICS Research Group, and a research assistant at the G7 and G8 Research Group, the G20 Research Group, and the Global Health Diplomacy Program, based at the Munk School of Global Affairs in Trinity College at the University of Toronto. She is pursuing an undergraduate degree with a specialist in international relations, a major in global health and a minor in political science. She is an editor for the reports produced by the G20 Research Group summit studies team, an analyst for the G7 Research Group summit studies team, and works on compliance research. Alissa is interested in Chinese history and politics as well as China's role in global governance. She was a member of the field team at the G7 Elmau Summit in Germany in 2015, the G7 Ise Shima Summit in Japan in 2016 and the G20 Hangzhou Summit in China in 2016.


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