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Xi no show at G20

China's President Xi Jinping.

China's President Xi Jinping.


Chinese President Xi Jinping is reportedly unlikely to attend the G20 summit of the world’s leading advanced and emerging economies in India next week.

Is Xi OK? No reason for Xi’s decision is known, but it’s the first time he’ll miss the gathering. He also unexpectedly skipped giving a speech at the BRICS summit earlier this month and is said to be sending a deputy in his stead to an Asian economic summit next week as well. Pick your speculation: health problem, deepening domestic economic woes, diplomatic snub?

Regardless of why he’s ditching the invite, the decision deals a blow to Indian PM Narendra Modi, who is keen to use his country’s rotating leadership of the G20 to bolster his global profile.

It also comes as the G20 is riven by disputes over two big issues. First, the war in Ukraine — with Europe and the US on one side, China and Russia on the other, and most other nations wary of picking sides.

The second is climate change, where developing and emerging nations still see rich-world demands to cap their emissions as an unfair brake on their economic development.

Lastly, Xi’s absence also means there won’t be any bilateral sideline meeting with US President Joe Biden, something that had been mooted as the world’s two largest economies try to manage an increasingly competitive relationship. A shame, as there were good vibes in the air after US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s trip to Beijing earlier this week.


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