US President Joe Biden is disappointed that Xi Jinping did not attend the G20 summit. Photo: EFE
Washington: Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to skip the G20 summit in India. His decision disappointed United States President Joe Biden for not being able to meet XI Jinping.
“I’m disappointed, but I’m going to meet with him,” Biden told reporters Sunday, but did not say when the meeting would take place, as reported. BBC, Monday September 4, 2023.
Beijing announced on Monday that Premier Li Qiang would lead a Chinese delegation to a summit in New Delhi this week. Xi and Biden last met at the G20 summit in Bali last year.
US-Chinese relations remain tense despite numerous diplomatic visits from Washington this year to relaunch dialogue.
China’s Foreign Ministry neither confirmed nor denied Xi’s presence at the Delhi summit when asked explicitly during Monday’s news conference.
“Li Qiang will lead the representatives attending the G20 Summit. It is an important global international forum. China always attaches great importance to it and actively participates in it,” said a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Affairs foreign.
But media reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said last week that Xi had no plans to attend.
This news comes against a backdrop of deteriorating relations between China and India. Among other things, the two countries face each other along a disputed border in the Himalayan region.
Last week, India protested after Beijing released a map claiming the state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin Plateau as Chinese territory.
Xi and Biden may still have an opportunity to speak in November, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ meeting in San Francisco.
About two months after the two leaders met in Bali, Indonesia, last November, allegations that Chinese spy balloons in U.S. skies dashed hopes of restoring bilateral relations, delaying efforts to to start the dialogue.
The two countries are at odds over a range of issues, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, human rights in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, territorial claims over Taiwan and the South China Sea and economic restrictions that limit Beijing’s access to high-tech components.
In a bid to improve relations, a series of senior US officials have visited China in recent months. They include Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry.
Meanwhile, Xi continues to present Beijing as a leader of developing countries, rallying support for an alternative world order led by Washington.
During a visit to South Africa last month to meet leaders of BRICS countries, he criticized Western “hegemony” and urged developing countries to “throw off the burden of colonialism” in a speech.
Brics initially referred to five countries made up of developing countries, including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Six new countries – Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – will join in January, in what is widely seen as a diplomatic victory for Beijing.
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