Australia

Body language speaks loudly on G20 stage

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As hopes for a speedy resolution to the US-China trade dispute fade, the world's media is analysing the interactions of leaders at the G20.

The world's media cram around a television screen, analysing who is talking to whom and who snubbed someone else like it's a high school canteen.

Welcome to the G20 summit in Osaka.

In diplomatic circles, body language and actions speak as loudly as the leaders' carefully chosen words.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands.
British Prime Minister Theresa May and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands.
SIPA USA

Ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China are once again overshadowing the gathering of major world leaders, with everyone looking ahead to Saturday's meeting between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.

If the leaders' "family photo" was any indication, hopes for a speedy end to the tit-for-tat tariffs hurting the world's economy are fast fading.

Mr Xi made a last-minute switch with Turkish President Recep Erdogan, avoiding his assigned spot in the line-up - next to Mr Trump.

And shortly after, when the leaders moved in to a formal session on the digital economy, Mr Trump took a thinly veiled potshot at Chinese technology giant Huawei, warning it was "essential to our shared safety and prosperity" to ensure the resilience and security of 5G networks.

Angela Merkel, Scott Morrison, Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron
On the G20 stage, body language matters as much as words. (AAP)
AAP

No wonder Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it would be unrealistic to expect an outcome from Saturday's meeting.

Yet the body language for Mr Morrison's plan for a global crackdown on social media hosting violent extremist content matched its warm reception.

As the leaders filtered in around the G20 roundtable, Mr Morrison huddled with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and French leader Emmanuel Macron, before being joined by German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Broad smiles were exchanged - mirroring the strong support Canada and France have offered for the plan.

And still later on the summit's first day, Mr Morrison relaxed into an armchair to ask what Australia could offer the WTO.

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