G20: I am disappointed, says Biden as Xi Jinping reportedly plans to skip summit

US President Joe Biden. [File Photo]

US President Joe Biden expressed his disappointment when asked about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s reported plan to skip the summit of G20 leaders in New Delhi.

“I am disappointed… but I am going to get to see him,” Biden told reporters in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on Sunday, without elaborating upon where exactly he hopes to meet the Chinese leader and when.

Xi Jinping is unlikely to attend the upcoming G20 summit in India in person, Reuters reported last week, citing unnamed Chinese and Indian officials. Beijing’s delegation at the event will instead be headed by Chinese Premier Li Qiang, the agency claimed.

Beijing has yet to officially confirm the Chinese leader’s travel plans. The Indian and Chinese foreign ministries declined to comment when asked about the issue.

Xi has made only two foreign trips since the lifting of China’s stringent Covid-19 restrictions in late 2022. He traveled to Moscow this March for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he personally attended the BRICS summit in South Africa last month.

President Putin will not be traveling to the G20 summit either. According to the Kremlin, Russia will be represented in New Delhi by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The G20 summit is scheduled to take place in New Delhi on September 9 and 10, and the Western media was expecting the gathering to be the stage for Biden’s first face-to-face meeting with Xi since their talks at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia last November. According to the White House, the US president is still expected to arrive in India earlier, on September 7, to attend bilateral meetings with other world leaders.

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