Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decision to skip the next G20 conference in India has been described as “disappointed” by US Vice President Joe Biden.
According to Reuters, Chinese Premier Li Qiang is anticipated to represent Beijing at the summit in New Delhi this week. I’m disappointed, but I’m going to see him, Mr. Biden told reporters on Sunday, declining to specify when they could meet.
At the summit in Indonesia last year, the two presidents last spoke. Mr. Xi had previously stated that he would fly to the Indian capital for the meeting, but when the Chinese foreign ministry was pressed to confirm his participation during a routine press briefing on Thursday, they declined.
According to news reports citing anonymous sources acquainted with the annual meeting’s planning, Mr. Xi will not be present at the summit this year. This occurs as ties between China and India continue to deteriorate. The two nations are at odds with one another, among other things, along their disputed boundary in the Himalayan area.
India recently voiced its displeasure when Beijing published a map claiming Chinese sovereignty over the state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin region. The leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation will convene in San Francisco in November, and Mr. Xi and Mr. Biden may yet have the chance to speak at that event.
The departure occurs as tensions between the US and China have been worse over the previous year.
Hopes for a reset in bilateral relations were dashed just two months after the two leaders’ November 2017 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali when an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon was seen in American skies. The two nations differ on a number of topics, such as Hong Kong’s and Xinjiang’s human rights, Taiwan’s and the South China Sea’s territorial claims, and Beijing’s expanding control over a number of industries.
A number of senior US officials have visited China recently in an effort to strengthen ties. Prominent individuals include US Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
As a substitute for the Washington-led global order, Mr. Xi seeks to position Beijing as a leader of the developing world. He spoke out against Western “hegemony” and urged emerging countries to “[shake] off the yoke of colonialism” during a visit to South Africa last month to meet with Brics leaders.
The five-nation club of developing nations known as the Brics originally included South Africa, Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Six new nations are scheduled to join in January, including Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. This is widely regarded as a diplomatic victory for Beijing.