China: President Xi Jinping  

Upon taking office in 2013 Xi unveiled his “China Dream” or the rejuvenation of China politically and economically.  Although he was vague on the specific policies entailed in the China Dream, several analysts in China, including retired general, Liu Mingfu, opined that Xi’s China Dream would entail creating a strong nation with an even stronger military capable of retaking its place as a global leader.  So far, Liu’s analysis seems to be correct.  Xi has forcefully sought to strengthen both China’s military and its economy. Under Xi, China as staked its claim in the South China Sea, building artificial islands and sending out naval patrols hundreds of miles outside of its ports, despite international condemnation.  China has also pumped millions of dollars into investment projects in Asia and Africa. Xi has complemented his military strategies by implementing economic policies aimed at reversing the slowing growth of China’s economy.   Domestic reforms included cutting some of China’s bloated state-owned enterprises; however, the most prominent economic policy Xi has implemented lies outside of China’s borders.  China has spearheaded the One Belt One Road (OBOR) trade investment project, a massive, multilateral infrastructure investment project. OBOR emphasizes infrastructure and energy projects that will facilitate the movement of goods from China to Europe, the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean along three separate routes.  OBOR currently has over seventies pledged countries with China as the project’s primary donor, pledging 113 billion dollars.   

At the G20 Summit last year in Hamburg, Jinping called for the other leaders to embrace an open world economy. Jinping has urged for multilateral trade, contrary to Trump’s tariffs. China faces increased risk for economic decline if Trump’s protectionism continues. As such, the G20 Summit will prove very important for discussions regarding trade and relations with the U.S. Jingping as also advocated for more global investment in the digital economy, as so much business is tied with the Internet today. “Inclusive global growth” has been a strong theme of Jinping’s goals for the previous G20 Summits in Hamburg and Hangzhou. As such, it is likely to be even stronger in this year’s summit in the wake of the U.S. tariffs.

“We should not develop a habit of retreating to the harbor whenever we encounter a storm, for this will never get us to the other side of the ocean.”

“We must remain committed to openness and mutual benefit for all so as to increase the size of the global economic ‘pie’.”

“Firstly, we should stay committed to building an open global economy. This commitment of the G20 to build open economies saw us through the global financial crisis, and this commitment is vital to re-energizing the global economy.”

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