In an unexpected turn of events, China’s president Xi Jinping will be absent from the forthcoming Delhi G20 Summit, with Premier Li Qiang stepping in to represent the nation.
Jinping joins Russia’s Vladimir Putin in becoming the second world leader to decline their attendance at the summit.
Premier Li Qiang to Represent China
Upon the invitation of the Indian government, Chinese Premier Li Qiang will head to New Delhi to take part in the upcoming 18th G20 Summit.
Announced on Monday by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this signifies President Xi Jinping’s absence – as the Asian nation avoids sending its two leading figures overseas simultaneously.
The spokesperson said, “At the invitation of the government of the Republic of India, Premier of the State Council Li Qiang will be present at the 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi, on September 9 and 10.”
Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, expressed China’s hope for the summit in consolidating consensus, promoting development, and driving confidence.
Premier Li is anticipated to represent China in conveying their perspective on G20 cooperation and advocating unity and cooperation in managing global economic and development challenges.
He also stated, “We are enthusiastic to collaborate with all parties to ensure the success of the G20 Leaders’ Summit.”
However, no specific explanation was provided for the nonattendance of Mr Jinping.
Interestingly, it is expected that Jinping will also miss the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations and East Asia summits in Indonesia.
Implications of Jinping’s Absence
Confirmation of Mr Jinping’s absence at this year’s G20 Summit follows days of speculation and a brief global dispute concerning a new “standard map” that includes Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin, along with other territories as China’s own.
Jinping’s decision to skip the summit has led to dissatisfaction, even with United States President Joe Biden expressing his disappointment.
However, other world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and others have confirmed their attendance at the summit.
Despite not meeting in person at the G20 Summit, Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did converse briefly at the BRICS Summit held in South Africa last month, agreeing to work towards “expeditious de-escalation” along the entire Line of Actual Control.
The absence of President Xi Jinping from the Delhi G20 Summit appears to generate both speculation and interest.
With Premier Li Qiang stepping forward, it remains to be seen how China will uphold its commitments and convey its position on the global stage.