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China, Russia, India warn of threats to global order

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

The Chinese president has warned against “protectionism” which, according to him, is being practiced by the West and “destroying the global trade order” amid a trade war between his country and the US.

Xi Jinping told leaders of the world's five major emerging economies (BRICS) on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka that "protectionism and bullying" are “destroying the global trade order."

He made the remarks ahead of an expected meeting with US President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Japan. 

"All this is destroying the global trade order,” said the Chinese president. “This also impacts common interests of our countries, overshadows the peace and stability worldwide.”

Xi was indeed reflecting remarks by other world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who were also attending the summit.

Putin worried about global economy

Putin, who was also attending the same meeting of the BRICS leaders, described the current situation in the global economy as “worrying.”

He said that global trade was feeling the effects of "protectionism, (and) politically motivated restrictions." 

Putin further said that attempts to lower the role of the World Trade Organization (WTO) or to destroy it are counter-productive. 

“This is clear that it (global trade) needs to be adopted to the present-day developments... We consider counter-productive any attempts to destroy WTO or to lower its role," Putin added.

Global economy not stable: Indian PM

The Indian leader also called for a focus on reforming the WTO. Modi raised concern about the global economy, which he said is in a situation of "instability and downfall."

“Unilateralism and competitiveness are overshadowing the rule-based multilateral global trade systems,” said Modi, who also called for strengthening the WTO and fighting against protectionism.

Trump, who is set to hold a meeting on trade with his Chinese counterpart on Saturday, said trade was his top priority at the summit.

Washington and Beijing are engaged in a trade dispute since last year.

Trump initiated the row, when he imposed unusually heavy tariffs on imports from China. Since then, the two sides have exchanged tariffs on more than 360 billion dollars in two-way trade.

Earlier this month, the US president threatened to impose tariffs on another 300 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese products, if Xi refused to meet him at G20 summit.

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