Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be attending the upcoming G20 summit in India, according to Chinese and Indian officials who spoke to Reuters. Instead, Chinese Premier Li Qiang will be leading Beijing’s delegation at the event, which is scheduled to take place in New Delhi on September 9 and 10. While the officials confirmed Li’s attendance, they could not provide an explanation for Xi’s absence.
The decision not to travel to India marks Xi’s third foreign trip since China lifted its strict Covid-19 restrictions in 2022. He visited Moscow in March for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and personally attended the BRICS summit in South Africa last week. The Indian and Chinese foreign ministries declined to comment on the matter.
During the BRICS summit, Xi had a conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines. The two leaders discussed ways to reduce tensions over a territorial dispute in a border area of the Himalayas. However, earlier this week, New Delhi lodged a strong protest with Beijing over the publication of a map of China that marked some parts of Indian territory as Chinese. India’s Ministry of External Affairs criticized the move, stating that it only complicated efforts to resolve the boundary question.
Last week, the Kremlin also announced that Russian President Putin would not be traveling to the G20 summit in India. The format of Putin’s participation in the event is still being determined, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Russia will be represented in New Delhi by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
US President Joe Biden, on the other hand, has confirmed his attendance at the G20 summit in the Indian capital. The Western media was anticipating the meeting between Biden and Xi, which would have been their first face-to-face encounter since their talks at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, last November.
The absence of both Xi and Putin at the G20 summit raises questions about the diplomatic dynamics that will be at play during the event. Without the presence of these two influential leaders, the discussions and negotiations could be significantly affected. However, Premier Li’s attendance indicates that China remains committed to participating in the summit and engaging with other G20 member countries. The focus will now be on the meetings and discussions that take place during the event, as leaders navigate the complex global challenges and seek to strengthen international cooperation.
The G20 summit in India will cover a wide range of topics, including global economic recovery, climate change, and pandemic response. Leaders will have the opportunity to address these issues and work towards finding solutions that benefit all nations. As the world continues to grapple with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and other pressing issues, the G20 summit provides a platform for leaders to come together, exchange ideas, and forge partnerships that can shape the future direction of global governance. Despite the absence of Xi and Putin, the summit remains a crucial gathering of world leaders, and the outcomes of the discussions and agreements reached will have significant implications for international relations and cooperation.