Publish: 04 Sep 2023, 01:02 pm
US President Joe Biden has said he is "disappointed" that his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, plans to skip the upcoming G20 summit in India.
Reuters reported that Chinese Premier Li Qiang is expected to represent Beijing at the summit in New Delhi this week.
"I am disappointed... but I am going to get to see him," Mr. Biden told reporters on Sunday, but he did not say when that meeting may take place.
The two leaders last met at the summit in Indonesia last year.
Mr. Xi had earlier said he would travel to the Indian capital for the meeting, but China's foreign ministry would not confirm his attendance when asked to do so at a regular press briefing on Thursday.
News reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with preparations for the annual meeting, say Mr. Xi does not plan to attend this year's summit.
This comes amid worsening relations between China and India. Among other things, the two countries are facing off against each other along their disputed border in the Himalayan region.
Just last week, India protested after Beijing released a map that claimed the state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin plateau as Chinese territory.
Mr. Xi and Mr. Biden may still have an opportunity to speak in November at a meeting among leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in San Francisco.
The withdrawal comes as US-China ties have continued to deteriorate in the past year.
About two months after the two leaders met on the Indonesian island of Bali last November, an alleged Chinese spy balloon in the US skies punctured hopes for a re-set in bilateral relations.
The two countries disagree over a range of issues, including human rights in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, territorial claims to Taiwan and the South China Sea, and Beijing's growing dominance of a host of industries.
In an attempt to improve ties, a series of top US officials have traveled to China in recent months. These include Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry.
Meanwhile, Mr. Xi continues to portray Beijing as a leader of the developing world and rally support for an alternative to the Washington-led world order.
In a visit to South Africa last month to meet with leaders of the BRICS nations, he criticized the West's "hegemony" and urged developing nations to "shake off the yoke of colonialism" in his speeches.
The Brics originally referred to the five-nation club of developing countries, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Six new countries—Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—are set to join in January, in what's widely seen as a diplomatic win for Beijing._BBC
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