US President Joe Biden said he hoped Xi Jinping will attend next week’s G-20 summit in New Delhi, amid reports the Chinese leader would likely skip the international summit.
(Bloomberg) — US President Joe Biden said he hoped Xi Jinping will attend next week’s G-20 summit in New Delhi, amid reports the Chinese leader would likely skip the international summit.
“The answer is: I hope he attends,” Biden said when asked if he expected Xi to travel to India.
Earlier Thursday, Indian officials said they had not heard from Beijing about whether Xi would show up, but people familiar with the situation suggested it was unlikely. The snub would be the first time Xi has skipped a G-20 meeting since taking power, and underscores tensions between the world’s two most populous countries.
For the US, hopes were high that the summit could be the next step in attempts to thaw the relationship with China. During last year’s meeting in Bali, Indonesia, Biden and Xi held an extended meeting and signaled a willingness to work collaboratively on a range of issues – only to have that progress derailed when a Chinese spy balloon drifted over the continental US.
Recent months have seen top members of Biden’s Cabinet attempt to repair the damage during trips to Beijing, but those visits have also seen the exchange of tough words. Earlier this summer, the White House announced new export controls of advanced semiconductor technology that drew howls of protest from Beijing.
If Xi opts not to travel to Delhi, he and Biden may have an opportunity to meet in November, when the US hosts the APEC conference in San Francisco.
When asked whether Xi would attend the Group of 20 summit at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the information would be released “in due course.”
–With assistance from Allen Wan and Philip Glamann.
(Updates with comments from China’s Foreign Ministry.)
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