China has officially informed the Indian side that President Xi Jinping will not attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi, media reports citing official sources said on Saturday (2 September). The reports added that the Chinese delegation will be led by Chinese Premier Li Qiang.
“The Chinese President is not travelling to India for the G-20 Summit,” people familiar with the development were quoted in reports. They added that leaders skipp such summits for various reasons and “these things do not reflect anything about the host country.”
Up until yesterday, Special Secretary for the G20 Summit, Muktesh Pardeshi, had been stating that India is awaiting a written confirmation from China on Xi Jinping’s attendance at the G-20 summit. While it has been widely speculated that the Chinese president would not attend the summit, there is no official confirmation. But now media reports are citing sources that it his absence is official now.
The Chinese President would be the second head of state in the G-20 grouping who will skip the summit in New Delhi to be held on September 9 and 10.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephonic conversation with his Indian counterpart. During the interaction, Putin told Indian PM Narendra Modi that he would be unable to attend the summit in person. At the G-20 summit, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would represent the Russian delegation. According to a Russian govt spokesperson, Putin would not attend the summit as he had a “busy schedule”.
According to experts, Xi Jinping’s absence from the summit would signal that China is reluctant to solve the border disputes with India. However, China had earlier tried to present a contrarian stand when Chinese President Xi Jinping last met PM Modi in South Africa during the BRICS summit.
Following the brief meeting, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said President Xi “stressed that improving China-India relations serves the common interests of the two countries and peoples”.
Speaking about the two leader’s short meeting during the BRICS summit, India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said that PM Modi conveyed to Chinese President Xi Jinping India’s concerns about the unresolved issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western sector of the India-China border areas.
Notably, this was only the second meeting between the two leaders after the Galwan clashes in May 2020.
Meanwhile, earlier while speaking on the reports that the Chinese President could skip the G-20 summit, US President Joe Biden said that he “hopes” Xi Jinping would attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
According to official information, US President Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with PM Narendra Modi on the 8th of September, a day before the start of the G-20 summit.
President Xi is also skipping the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and East Asia summits in Jakarta next week. Li Qiang will also be visiting Jakarta from where he will travel to India for the G20 summit.