Delaware: US President Joe Biden on Sunday said he is “disappointed” by reports that Chinese Premier Xi Jinping would be skipping this week’s G20 summit in India, reported The Hill. “I am disappointed, but I am going to see him,” Biden told reporters in Rehoboth Beach, Del., when asked about Xi not attending the G20 summit, according to The Hill, a US political website. Biden did not elaborate on where he could encounter Xi in the future.
Biden’s remarks come after various media outlets reported last week that Xi will most likely not attend the G20 summit in New Delhi. Biden’s trip to the summit, which was confirmed last week, is expected to provide another opportunity for the United States to strengthen collaboration with Indo-Pacific allies as a counterbalance to China, The Hill reported.
Last week, speaking on the possibility of a meeting between China’s President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden at the G20 Summit hosted by India this year, the White House stated that President Biden is looking forward to having a conversation and continuing ongoing engagement with China.
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said, “I’ll just let the President’s words stand for himself. He (Joe Biden) spoke about it during his press conference at Camp David. You heard him speak of it, he’s looking forward to having that conversation, continuing that ongoing engagement.”
White House also recognised the uncertainty of the Chinese President’s participation in the G20 Summit and said that President Biden has said multiple times that he is looking forward to continuing his engagement and conversation with President Xi.”
So, as it relates to his attendance – President Xi’s attendance to the G20, I would leave that to, you know — to his spokesperson to answer that question, not for me to answer” said the White House Press Secretary.
The two presidents met in person for the first time since Biden assumed office during last year’s G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. During the encounter, Biden advised Xi that their countries’ differences should be managed in order to prevent rivalry from devolving into conflict.
Tensions between the United States and China have escalated on a variety of issues, including technology, espionage, economic competition, and military strength. Multiple close military encounters in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, as well as a spy balloon incident in February and current accusations that China has operated a spy base in Cuba since at least 2019, as reported by The Hill.
White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan said Biden will travel to India for the summit from September 7 to 10, where he will hold multiple bilateral meetings with other world leaders, although Sullivan did not name them.
Several US leaders including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have made visits to China in recent months in an effort to improve relations with China, The Hill reported.