A police officer takes a selfie with his smartphone as he secures an area on the West Lake in Hangzhou on September 2, 2016.AFP / NICOLAS ASFOURI
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China's hosting of the Group of 20 industrialized nations summit highlights its role as the world's second-largest economy and a growing force in global diplomacy, but also comes amid sharpening frictions over its territorial claims in the South China Sea, disputes with fellow regional powers South Korea and Japan and criticisms over a sweeping crackdown on dissent at home. China hopes to avoid discussion of such issues while using the summit in the eastern city of Hangzhou to burnish its image as a responsible major nation whose support is essential to solving the world's ills. The U.S. and others have called on Beijing to respect the ruling, and the case threatens to tarnish China's desired image as a full-fledged member of international society.China will also hope that a successful summit will dampen criticism from the U.S. and European Union over sentences for subversion handed out to legal activists in a demonstration of the party's determination to silence independent human rights workers and government critics.Whatever the summit's outcome, China is sparing no effort to ensure it goes off smoothly, relying on its experience hosting major international gatherings such as the 2008 Summer Olympics and last year's Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.Still, in keeping with China's rising global profile, Tsang suggests its image might benefit from a more laid-back approach.
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