UPDATE 1-China backs Russia over Syria at G20 summit

Thu Sep 5, 2013 5:11am EDT
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* Obama, Putin trade barbs ahead of summit

* G20 loses cohesion as economic crisis manager

* Emerging markets fret over dollar resurgence

By Timothy Heritage

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept 5 (Reuters) - China warned on Thursday that military intervention in Syria would hurt the world economy and push up oil prices, reinforcing Vladimir Putin's attempts to talk U.S. President Barack Obama out of air strikes.

The rift over Syria could overshadow a summit of the Group of 20 (G20) developed and developing economies in St. Petersburg at which global leaders want to forge a united front on growth, trade, banking transparency and fighting tax evasion.

The club that accounts for two thirds of the world's population and 90 percent of its output is divided over issues such as turmoil in emerging markets and the Federal Reserve's decision to end its programme of stimulus for the U.S. economy.

But no rift is wider than the one between the U.S. and Russian leaders on possible military intervention in Syria to punish President Bashar al-Assad over a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of people on Aug. 21.

Putin was isolated on Syria at a Group of Eight meeting in June, the last big meeting of world powers, but now has China to back him at the G20 summit in Russia's former imperial capital.   Continued...