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Ma Zhaoxu Talks about President Hu Jintao's Participation in the G20 Summit in Seoul

President Hu Jintao, at the invitation of ROK President Lee Myung-bak, attended the fifth G20 Summit in Seoul, the Republic of Korea from November 11 to 12, 2010. Ma Zhaoxu, spokesman of the Chinese delegation, introduced President Hu’s participation in the summit.

I. Overall comment on the summit

The world economy is recovering slowly but uncertainty remains. The G20 is shifting from a crisis response to a long-term economic governance mechanism. It is against such two special backgrounds that the Seoul Summit is held. Through consultations and cooperation among all the participants, the Summit achieved positive results.

First, all members promised to strengthen the G20’s role, carefully handle the emerging risks and challenges in the international financial and economic sectors and boost the strong, sustained and balanced growth of world economy. The solemn promises of G20 leaders in the Seoul Declaration sent a positive signal to the international market and boosted confidence in economic recovery.

Second, G20 leaders pledged to continue to reform the international financial institutions and transfer at least 6% of quota shares of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to emerging markets and developing countries as well as the undervalued countries. It is thanks to their political determination and impetus that the reform of international financial institutions can achieve historic progress within such a short period of time. It verified the reality of rising economic power of emerging markets and developing countries.

Third, G20 leaders for the first time made development issues one of items on their agenda and passed the Seoul Development Consensus and the Multi-Year Action Plan. All parties agreed to make development issues a long-term theme of G20 Summit, which marks a new level of G20’s recognition of and input in the development issues. It will help gather consensus, narrow down South-North development gap and alleviate world economic imbalances fundamentally.

Fourth, G20 leaders formulated a series of new measures and steps on strengthening international financial supervision and opposing trade protectionism based on the achievements of previous summits, which will help promote the healthy and stable development of world economy in the long run.

As a key issue of the G20 Summit, world economic imbalances were discussed intensively. When preparing for the Seoul Summit, relevant countries proposed to give top priority to solving the current account imbalances and develop a quantitative index. Many G20 members, including China, do not agree on the proposal. World economic imbalances, as a reality for many years, have complicated and profound structural causes, including the unbalanced South-North development, unbalanced international division of labor and unbalanced monetary system. Current account imbalance is a manifestation of world economic imbalances instead of the cause. To correct the imbalance we must tackle the root causes rather than the symptoms. In the spirit of seeking common ground while putting aside differences, G20 members well handled the issue when preparing for the Summit.

During the Summit, some countries believe the G20 should develop a package of “reference guide” to judge the external imbalances of an economy and set up a deadline to complete formulating the package. Since it requires numerous special and technical preparations, many members, including China, proposed that experts should make full discussions first and report their mature suggestions, if any, to the meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of G20. Participants in the Summit accepted the proposal and agreed the G20 task force of “strong, sustained and balanced growth framework” should be responsible for drafting the g