The G20 meeting – now underway in China – takes place in a world that is in an unprecedented degree of flux. Andrew Mertha, a Cornell University specialist in Chinese politics, says China is likely to get what it wants: an emphasis on economic issues.
“For the G20 Summit, China’s leaders find themselves in a world that is in an unprecedented degree of flux. Between Brexit and the future of the EU, rumblings in Ukraine, Beijing’s ambivalence about a strong Russia, and the erratic U.S. election, I expect China will get what it wants – an emphasis on economic issues – not because the rest of the world wants to give China a pass but because there is too much fluidity in the West and elsewhere to try to influence China’s strategic rise in any meaningful way.
“I would be very surprised if there were any dramatic breakthroughs, particularly on more contentious policy areas – South China Sea disputes, deployment of anti-missile systems on South Korean soil, etc. – even as they will certainly be brought up in bilateral meetings and closed-door sessions.
“For China’s part, I expect Beijing to sit on its hands, to wait things out, at least until there is a better sense of what the world will look like in 2017, moving forward.”
Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.
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