Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to miss the G20 leaders’ summit scheduled for next week in India. According to multiple reportsThis is a development that would undermine his chances of meeting with President Biden.
Biden’s trip to New Delhi, announced last week, was seen as another opportunity to increase cooperation among allies in the Indo-Pacific region, which could serve as a counterweight to China.
The president said he still hopes Xi will attend the summit.
“The answer is: I hope he comes,” Biden said Thursday.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed last Tuesday that Biden will attend the summit scheduled to be held from September 7 to 10, and will attend various meetings with leaders, but he did not reveal those meetings.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden and other world leaders will discuss a wide range of topics, including climate change, the global economy, the war in Ukraine and poverty.
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Biden and Xi last met at the G20 summit last year in Bali, Indonesia, and a potential meeting between the two leaders this year was seen as an opportunity to repair the deteriorating relationship caused by trade and geopolitical tensions.
Other senior officials are traveling to China in an attempt to help ease tensions.
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo recently met with her Chinese counterpart, Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Wentao, to discuss export controls, which have frustrated Chinese officials.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled in June to China, where he met with two senior foreign policy officials and Xi himself.
Tense relations with India may fuel Xi Jinping’s decision
Chinese President Xi Jinping gestures during his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Monday, June 19, 2023. (Leah Millis/Pool Photo via AP)
Experts told Reuters that Xi’s decision could be described as targeting India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India and China have been embroiled in a three-year standoff over their shared border, and tensions rose this week after Malaysia joined India in protesting a new Chinese map that claims Indian territory and Malaysian maritime areas near Borneo.
However, just last week, Xi and Modi agreed to intensify de-escalation efforts on the disputed border, bringing back thousands of troops deployed there in the process, according to an Indian Foreign Ministry official.
India boasts one of the fastest growing economies in the world at a time when China’s economy is slowing down.
Biden’s next chance to deal with Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Biden are seen during an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, June 22, 2023. (Greg Nash)
Biden’s trip to India will also be his latest effort to reach out to Modi, following an official visit to the White House in June. The visit was controversial because of Modi’s human rights record.
A handful of Democrats boycotted Modi’s speech to a joint session of Congress, and pushed Biden to make human rights a focus during their meetings. But Modi responded to these criticisms during a press conference with Biden.
Biden reportedly discussed democratic values with Modi during their meeting in the Oval Office, and the president stressed that the US relationship with India is “more dynamic than at any time in history.”
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