Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be attending the G20 Summit to be held in New Delhi on 9-10 September, Beijing confirmed on Monday.
The delegation will be led by the country’s Premier Li Qiang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced. China’s decision comes in the middle of simmering tensions between the two countries over the activities along India-China border
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning issued a brief statement, saying, “At the invitation of the Government of the Republic of India, Premier of the State Council Li Qiang will attend the 18th G20 Summit to be held in New Delhi, India on 9 and 10 September.”
The Chinese officials informed their Indian counterparts on 2 September that President Xi Jinping would be skipping the New Delhi summit.
A written confirmation of this is still pending. However, the Foreign Ministry has not specified any reason for President Xi’s absence from the high-profile conclave hosted by India for the first time.
Responding to Xi’s absence, US President Joe Biden on Sunday said that he was disappointed that Chinese President was not attending the summit. Biden will be visiting India from September 7-10.
The tension between Indian and China escalated recently after Beijing released a new map that asserts territorial claim over India’s Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin in Ladakh. India lodged strong protest with China, calling it “absurd claims”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has also announced that he will not be attending the summit in-person as he has to focus on the “special military operation” in Ukraine. Russia would be represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
G20 Leaders’ Summit is the annual meeting of the heads of state or government of the Group of Twenty (G20), comprising Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union (EU).