April 16, 2024

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Biden expresses disappointment over Xi’s absence from the G20 summit.

US President Joe Biden expressed his disappointment regarding Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decision to skip the upcoming G20 summit in India. Biden mentioned his disappointment to reporters but didn’t specify when their next meeting might occur. China’s Premier Li Qiang will instead lead the Chinese delegation at the Delhi summit. The two leaders last met at the G20 summit in Indonesia the previous year.

Tensions persist in US-China relations despite multiple diplomatic efforts from Washington to revive dialogue throughout the year. China’s foreign ministry neither confirmed nor denied Xi’s attendance at the Delhi summit during a press briefing, but news reports citing unnamed sources indicated that Xi had no plans to attend.

This situation unfolds against a backdrop of deteriorating relations between China and India, including ongoing border disputes in the Himalayan region. Recently, India protested China’s release of a map claiming the territory of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin plateau as Chinese.

There is still a chance for Xi and Biden to communicate in November at a meeting among leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in San Francisco. However, an alleged Chinese spy balloon over the US just two months after their previous meeting in November further strained bilateral relations and delayed dialogue efforts.

The US and China hold conflicting stances on various issues, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, human rights concerns in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, territorial disputes involving Taiwan and the South China Sea, and economic restrictions limiting China’s access to high-tech components.

To mend ties, several top US officials have visited China, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and US Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry. Meanwhile, Xi Jinping continues to position Beijing as a leader of the developing world, advocating for an alternative to the Washington-led global order.

In a recent visit to South Africa to meet with leaders of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), Xi criticised Western “hegemony” and urged developing nations to break free from colonialism’s yoke. The Brics is set to expand in January, adding six new member countries, seen as a diplomatic achievement for Beijing.