China and the G20

Coinciding with the G20 Summit held in Hangzhou between 5-6 September 2016, the School of East Asian Studies hosted a public lecture on ‘China and the G20’ by Emeritus Professor Peter Drysdale.

Listen to a recording of Professor Drysdale's lecture China and the G20

Widely acknowledged as the intellectual architect of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, Professor Drysdale is a leading Australian expert on international trade and economic policy in East Asia. In drawing parallels with the global economy in the 1980s, he urged greater strategic focus on countering the ‘undertow’ of anti-globalisation forces that currently prevail in Europe, America, and across the industrialised world.

His analysis focused on the potential of the G20 process to steer global economic policy on three key issues: accelerating economic growth, securing an open trade and investment regime, and protecting the global financial system against crisis. How well did the Hangzhou Summit measure up to these expectations? And how well did China perform as first-time host? In helping to wield a consensus, the Summit scored highly on atmospherics, consolidating the Paris Accord on Climate Change, and coordinating the provision of an international financial safety net. Advances in the trade and investment agenda, especially at the regional level in East Asia, were less evident.

In terms of a scorecard for the host, China receives an A+ for effort and an A- or B+ for execution. China will likely continue to cast a long shadow over the global economy a decade from now, regardless of the current slow-down and resistance to much needed supply-side reforms. If Professor Drysdale’s longer-term prediction is correct, China’s positive performance at Hangzhou may well represent a new impetus in global economic leadership.

By Professor Katherine Morton

Professor Peter Drysdale - Biography

Peter DrysdalePeter Drysdale is Emeritus Professor of Economics in the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. He is widely acknowledged as the intellectual architect of APEC. He was founding head of the Australia-Japan Research Centre. He is the author of a large number of books and papers on international trade and economic policy in East Asia and the Pacific, including his prizewinning book, International Economic Pluralism: Economic Policy in East Asia and the Pacific. He is recipient of the Asia Pacific Prize, the Weary Dunlop Award, the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun with Gold Rays and Neck Ribbon, the Australian Centenary Medal, the Japan Foundation Prize, the Asian Cosmopolitan Prize and an Honorary Doctor of Letters, from the Australian National University. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2016. He is presently Co-Editor of East Asia Forum and Head of the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research and the South Asia Bureau of Economic Research. In 2011-12, he served on the Advisory and Cabinet Committee of the Australian Government's White Paper on Australia’s in the Asian Century and is currently the Australian Chair of a major Joint Study of the Australia-China economic relationship.