According to a report, Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to skip the G20 Summit in India. Instead, Premier Li Qiang is expected to attend as Beijing’s representative. The last interaction between Xi and Biden took place during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, in November of the previous year.
Sources familiar with the situation in both India and China have indicated that Chinese President Xi Jinping is anticipated to skip the upcoming G20 leaders’ summit in India. Reuters has reported that two Indian officials, including a diplomat stationed in China and another official from a different G20 nation, have indicated that Premier Li Qiang is projected to attend the New Delhi meeting on September 9-10 as a representative of Beijing.
The G20 summit scheduled in India was seen as a potential opportunity for Chinese President Xi Jinping to engage with US President Joe Biden, who has already confirmed his participation. This event was considered significant as both major powers aimed to mend their relations strained by various trade and geopolitical conflicts.
Xi’s most recent interaction with Biden occurred during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, in November of the previous year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has conveyed his decision not to attend the New Delhi summit in person, opting to send Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as his representative instead.
One senior government official from host India told Reuters that “we are aware that the premier will come”, in place of Xi.
According to information from two foreign diplomats in China and a government representative from another G20 nation, it is probable that Xi Jinping will not be making the trip to the summit.
Reuters reported that these sources within China, two of whom mentioned that they received this information from Chinese officials, expressed that they lacked knowledge regarding the specific cause behind his potential nonattendance.
Expectations of a potential meeting between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden have been heightened by a series of visits to Beijing by prominent U.S. officials over the past few months. Notably, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s recent visit has contributed to this anticipation.
Furthermore, there is another upcoming summit that has been suggested as a platform for in-person discussions between the two leaders—the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Meeting scheduled to take place in San Francisco from November 12 to 18.
Xi Jinping, who notably secured an unprecedented third term as leader in October of the previous year, has undertaken limited international travels since China’s abrupt easing of stringent pandemic-related border restrictions earlier this year. Nevertheless, he did participate in a gathering of leaders from the BRICS consortium of significant emerging economies—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—in South Africa just last week.
In the lead-up to the G20 summit, a series of ministerial meetings in India have been marked by disagreement. Notably, Russia and China have jointly resisted endorsing collective statements that contained paragraphs denouncing Moscow’s incursion into Ukraine during the previous year.
Amidst this backdrop, Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged in dialogue on the fringes of the BRICS gathering in Johannesburg. They deliberated on strategies to alleviate tensions in their bilateral relationship, which had deteriorated following confrontations along their Himalayan border in 2020, resulting in the loss of 24 soldiers.