Chinese President Hu Jintao and other leaders from the Group of 20 (G20) members gathered here Saturday for a summit with issues of financial markets and global economy topping the agenda.
President Hu and other leaders have been invited by U.S. President George W. Bush to the Saturday's summit, the first in a series to mitigate what economists predict could be a long and deep economic downturn.
Setting tone for the summit in New York Thursday, President Bush said that the summit will focus on "understanding the causes of the global crisis and developing principles for reforming our financial and regulatory systems."
He said that the meeting will lay the foundation for financial reforms, saying that "in addition to addressing the current crisis, we also need to make broader reforms to strengthen the global economy over the long term."
However, he said that "this crisis did not develop overnight, and it will not be solved overnight."
The leaders are expected to discuss the causes of the global financial crisis and a set of principles for reform of the regulatory and institutional regimes for the world's financial sectors.
In a telephone conversation with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama last Saturday, President Hu said that the current global financial crisis has seriously impacted economic development and people's livelihood in all countries around the world, and the international community should increase confidence, strengthen coordination and cooperation to effectively dealing with this global challenge.
Also last week, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei told reporters at a press briefing that China expects to build a fair, inclusive and efficient international financial system.
China will take an active part in the summit-related activities in a constructive attitude, work together with all the parties for the achievement of pragmatic outcome, and impel the international community to tackle the financial crisis in a timely, comprehensive and effective manner, he said.
G20 members include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Britain, the United States, and the European Union and the Bretton Woods Institutions, namely the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
The heads of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations and the Financial Stability Forum have also been invited to the Washington summit.
In Washington, President Hu will meet some leaders of the G20 members on the sidelines of the summit, according to Chinese diplomats.
President Hu is on the first leg of his five-nation trip. He will attend the Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in the Peruvian capital of Lima on Nov. 22-23, and pay state visits to Costa Rica, Cuba, Peru and Greece.