This week's G20 meeting convenes twenty countries that account for more than 85% of world economic output. There are clear disagreements between the United States and its European counterparts on how to move the world economy past today's crisis. To shed light on those disagreements and their implications, Minxin Pei joined Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, senior director for policy programs at the German Marshall Fund, and Martin Wolf, associate editor and chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
Pei argued that China wants to look like a leader at the summit by highlighting the extent of its stimulus package ($586 billion) as well as the relative health of its financial system. It worries that its long-term interests will suffer if the United States continues to print money. At the same, time, however, it does not want to take the lead in opposing American positions, so it will most likely serve as an intermediary between the Europeans and Americans lest anyone think that China is overreaching. Pei also noted that China feels "let down" by the United States because it has attempted, for the last 20 or 30 years, to emulate an economic system whose intellectual foundations have now collapsed.