China CONDEMNS US protectionism at G20 amid ESCALATING trade war

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The G20 summit of the most powerful countries in the world opened in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires with a call for dialogue and consensus from Mauricio Macri, the president of the country hosting the event. Heads of state from the world's leading economies were invited to the Group of 20 summit to discuss issues like development, infrastructure and investment, but those themes seem like afterthoughts, overshadowed by contentious matters from the U.S. -China trade dispute to the conflict over Ukraine.

If that was created to soothe Trump, Xi more generally urged his fellow G20 leaders "to stick to openness" and to "steer (the) world economy responsibly", Xinhua reported.

Amid the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, hopes were stoked that the two presidents could reach a compromise, although a degree of scepticism has since crept in. Trump Friday expressed optimism about a deal. "There's some good signs".

But on the eve of what is seen as the most important meeting of USA and Chinese leaders in years, both sides said differences remained, and the outcome of the talks were uncertain. Xi's administration also hopes talks will exclude or sideline key trade hawks, such as Trump adviser Peter Navarro.

Argentina's presidency voiced optimism that consensus would be reached, but a White House official said the United States would walk away from any statement that prejudiced USA positions.

"The issues of concern regarding trade, investment and IPR (intellectual property rights) were not created overnight and can not be solved quickly", she said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on Trump to remove tariffs on steel and aluminum, saying they remain a major economic obstacle. If he can't get a deal with Xi, he's poised to more than double most of those tariffs January 1.

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the U.S. are all represented.

Highlighting the deep rifts within the G20, European Council President Donald Tusk said the European Union would extend its economic sanctions on Moscow in December, after Russian ships fired on Ukrainian vessels in the Sea of Azov last week, seizing the boats and sailors.

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It's unlikely the two countries will reach a full-blown resolution in Buenos Aires; the issues that divide them are just too hard. Whether such a cease-fire would be enough to get Trump to delay higher or expanded tariffs is unclear.

Global financial markets will take their lead on Monday from the outcome of the Xi-Trump meeting, having seesawed in recent days on concerns trade tensions could escalate. In previous years, the G20's joint statement had been hammered out well in advance.

A White House spokeswoman later denied that Trump said the ships' seizure was the "sole reason" he cancelled the anticipated meeting.

Mr Larreta briefed him about his government's efforts to improve mobility by expanding the city's public transport networks and car-free zones. It is also the first to be held in South America.

U.S. objections on climate and trade have seen two major summits this year, of the Group of Seven democracies and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, end without the once-routine statements.

"We're working very hard".

Both sides discussed how to further cooperate in areas such as the promotion of trade and investment, agri-food exports, and educational exchanges, said the PMO.

"There's a very positive message of how trade has been an engine of growth for the next decades and how it will continue in the future providing benefits for all citizens", Jaitman said. "Great family. And you're doing a fantastic job, and I want to congratulate you", he added.