(Clifford Coonan – Irish Times)
Global summits have become wildly unpredictable events since Donald Trump became US president. As leaders arrive in Hamburg for the G20 meeting, nerves will jangle as China’s Xi Jinping and Germany’s Angela Merkel address the new realities since Trump’s inauguration.
The days when the US would pitch up at an international summit to outline strategies on defending global rules on equal market access, human rights, development or combating climate change, seem to be gone, and now Germany and China are assuming the mantle of leadership on matters relating to globalisation.
When Trump met Xi in Mar-a-Lago in April, the US president told his Chinese counterpart over chocolate cake that he had just bombed Syria. The story is told of how the Chinese president was so stunned he asked the translator to repeat what he just said. Click here to read more.