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The Group of 20 or G20 Summit will be place in Delhi from September 9–10 this year, however President Xi Jinping will not be attending. Instead, China will be represented at the summit by Premier Li Qiang.
Although Mao Ning, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, declined to comment on Xi Jinping’s decision to boycott the G20 summit, it is clear that their disputed border has soured ties between the two countries. (Follow developments from the G20 Summit LIVE)
Joe Biden, the vice president of the US, expressed his “disappointment” that Xi intended to forgo the G20 Summit. Biden told reporters, without indicating when a meeting with Xi may occur, “I am disappointed…but I am going to get to see him.
There are five likely reasons why Xi Jinping will not be at the G20 Summit.
- Alipov tried to downplay the recent release by Beijing of a so-called “standard map” asserting claim to Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin, Taiwan, and the South China Sea. China publishes the standard map each year, but this is the first time India has voiced a significant objection to the map’s problems and rejected the assertions of the Communist country. Being released just a few days before the G20 Summit, the timing of the map release was a little unexpected. During a brief meeting with Xi at the recently finished BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, Prime Minister Narendra Modi voiced his deep worry for the situation along the Line.
- Because of their disputed border, relations between China and India have deteriorated. Twenty Indian troops were killed in a battle in the Ladakh area three years ago as a result of the tensions. Tens of thousands of military soldiers from both sides were stationed there, supported by artillery, tanks, and fighter planes, and it developed into a protracted stalemate.
- Tensions have also increased over trade and India’s expanding strategic relations with China’s major competitor, the United States. The journalists of the opposite nation have been expelled by China and India.
- According to political scientist Wen-Ti Sung of the Australian National University, “Xi’s skipping the West-heavy club of the G20 right after attending the BRICS summit may be a visual illustration of Xi’s narrative of “East is rising, and the West is falling,” as well as showing solidarity with Russian President Putin who is also not attending.”
- Given his concentration on local concerns, Alfred Wu, an associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, said that Xi could be reluctant to travel overseas. National security is Xi Jinping top priority, thus he must remain in China and force foreign leaders to visit him instead, Wu said.