G20 in Hangzhou: A local global citizen’s perspective
Shuning Lu, a junior Fellow from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, reflects on the presence of the G20 in her city.
In the past few days, Hangzhou has held an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies, and people usually call it G20. The themes of this year’s G20 are “Innovative”, “Invigorated”, “Interconnected” and “Inclusive”, which are closely connected to our 2016 Global Citizenship Conference.
From a local perspective, the security measures taken ahead of the G20 caused some inconveniences. The university laboratories were closed, and most of the university students were not allowed to stay in school as usual. Residents living near the conference sites were asked to travel or live in hotels during the G20 in exchange for government subsidies.
Intensified security forces were sent to Hangzhou, and a huge number of volunteers were allocated in different places for security purposes. A strict security check was implemented to check passengers on trains, subways or buses.
Trade and manufacturing were also affected: many small and unauthorized shops, restaurants and recreational sites were closed. Factories had to halt production in order to improve Hangzhou’s environment and air quality.
Though the G20 seemed to cause a lot of inconveniences for the residents, we are proud of our city and are glad that Hangzhou was chosen to be the host city for the 2016 G20.
While we are focusing on gender empowerment, cultures in a globalized world and sustainable economies, and devote to make a change, we have to admit that policies brought about by top leaders may produce a stronger effect. However, it does not mean that we should do nothing and wait for them to improve the world. Actually we should do more, but also learn more about what those top leaders are doing as well.