G20 leaders met under pressure on Monday to reboot the world market, but Asia’s heated territorial disputes and a stumbling drive for a Syria ceasefire intruded in Hangzhou on the summit.
There had been hopes of a breakthrough after the US said it was close to your deal with Russia in stemming the Syria conflict. But frantic diplomacy ended with Moscow accused of backtracking.
An US official said “differences remain” despite two rounds of talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and his counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the summit.
Vladimir Putin and presidents Barack Obama also met Monday, but it was far from clear they could find arrangement on the intractable five-year disaster, in which different sides are supported by the two.
The Group of 20 developed and emerging markets — this year assembly in a picturesque eastern Chinese city that is mostly deserted under a security operation that is sweeping — represents 85 percent of the world’s GDP and two-thirds of its population.
China’s President Xi Jinping has encouraged the leaders to avert “empty talk” and face rising protectionism that endangers globalisation and free trade.
But experts fear the party will not be long on material, without acute crisis shoving on leaders to take hard measures such as liberalising trade and to defy rising populist opinion.