China’s foreign ministry has confirmed Reuters exclusive report that Premier Li Qiang will lead the country’s delegation at this week’s G20 summit in India, in the place of President Xi Jinping. Xi has participated in all previous G20 meetings of world leaders during his decade in power and his absence scuppers the prospects for meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in New Delhi amid frayed ties between the superpowers.
Xi to skip G20 summit in India, China to send Li instead
The Sept. 9-10 summit had been seen as a venue for a possible meeting between Xi and Biden, who has confirmed his attendance in New Delhi, following months of efforts by the two powers to stabilise ties frayed by trade and geopolitical tensions. This will be the first time that a Chinese president has missed a leaders’ summit since the first edition was held in 2008, though in 2020 and 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Xi attended virtually.