WTO paralysed as leaders meet to defuse US-China trade war

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires

Russian Federation is committed to deepening practical cooperation and coordination with China to safeguard global peace and security and build an open world economy, Putin said.

Russian Federation and Ukraine have traded blame over the incident - which Trump cited in canceling a much-awaited meeting with Putin at the G20.

Protesters have vowed a mass rally later Friday, underlining security concerns after recent football violence forced the relocation of a showpiece final to Spain.

The summit was held in tight security conditions, following threats of violent disruption from some groups in Buenos Aires.

"I look forward to a meaningful summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!"

Trump has since voiced sadness over the killing of Khashoggi, who lived in the United States and wrote for The Washington Post.

Trump's remarks came as he prepared to depart for the summit.

Donald Trump made a series of contradicting statements ahead of the event, about meeting Russia's Vladimir Putin in Buenos Aires, with his sudden change of heart causing a lot of confusion.

"We're working very hard".

Trump has slapped punishing tariffs on more than $250 billion in Chinese imports so far this year, demanding that Beijing end allegedly unfair trade practices and reverse industrial policies criticized by other major economies. Washington is scheduled to raise import tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese products from 10 per cent to 25 per cent from January 2019 if it can not come to terms with Beijing.

While the US, Canada and Mexico held a signing ceremony of their new trade pact on the sidelines of G20 summit, China and France held a joint press conference to demonstrate their commitment to reducing climate change.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was supposed to get in to Buenos Aires early Friday, but her arrival was delayed when her plane suffered a technical problem and returned to Germany on Thursday night.

But Human Rights Watch accuses him of responsibility and also of war crimes in Yemen, and on Wednesday, Argentine legal authorities took initial action to consider a request to prosecute him for alleged crimes against humanity.




But US President Donald Trump has already cancelled meeting Russia's Vladimir Putin over Ukraine.

Apart from trade and climate change, Russia's seizure of Ukrainian vessels has drawn condemnation from other G20 members, while the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the summit has raised an awkward dilemma for leaders.

It is to be the crown prince's first significant appearance overseas since the killing.

Elsewhere in Buenos Aires, as Argentina goes through a painful economic crisis, tens of thousands of protesters rallied peacefully to denounce the government for spending millions on the summit while the public endures rocketing inflation and unemployment.

But it said the "United States reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement", mirroring the divergence seen past year when Trump shocked the global community by bucking the consensus at his first G20.

Mr Macron warned that Europe might not sign trade deals with the South American regional bloc Mercosur if Brazil's incoming president, Jair Bolsonaro, pulls out of the Paris accord.

But with a major United Nations meeting on climate change starting next week in Poland straight after the G20, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said in Buenos Aires that "this is a make-it-or-break-it moment".

"Will we even have a communique? It really is an open question", said former Canadian negotiator Thomas Bernes, a senior fellow at the Ontario-based Centre for International Governance Innovation.

President Donald Trump walks away from Argentina's President Mauricio Macri, left, at the start of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 30, 2018.5.

Argentines are grappling with soaring inflation and unemployment.

Joining other forecasters, economists at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development last week downgraded their outlook for global economic growth next year to 3.5 percent from a previous 3.7 percent, citing the trade conflict, as well as political uncertainty.

Argentine authorities have said they will not tolerate violence or allow the gathering to be disrupted.

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