China’s Xi will skip G20 summit in India; Premier Li Qiang will come instead | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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China’s Xi will skip G20 summit in India; Premier Li Qiang will come instead

ByAssociated Press
Sep 04, 2023 02:09 PM IST

A one-sentence notice on the Chinese foreign ministry website said Premier of the State Council Li Qiang will attend the 18th G20 Summit to be held in New Delhi

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping is apparently skipping this week’s Group of 20 summit in India as bilateral relations remain icy.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will skip this week’s Group of 20 summit in India, amid a downturn in bilateral relations, with Premier Li Qiang to attend in his place, China’s Foreign Ministry said Monday (AP File)
Chinese President Xi Jinping will skip this week’s Group of 20 summit in India, amid a downturn in bilateral relations, with Premier Li Qiang to attend in his place, China’s Foreign Ministry said Monday (AP File)

Instead, Premier Li Qiang will represent China at the Sept. 9-10 gathering, the Foreign Ministry said Monday in a one sentence notice on its website.

Relations between China and India have grown frosty over their disputed border, and three years ago the tensions resulted in a clash in the Ladakh region that killed 20 Indian and four soldiers. It turned into a long-running standoff in the rugged mountainous area, where each side has stationed tens of thousands of military personnel backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets.

Frictions have also risen over trade and India’s growing strategic ties with China’s main rival the United States. Both India and China have expelled the other’s journalists.

India recently overtook China as the world’s most populous nation and the two are rivals in technology, space exploration and global trade.

Chinese and Indian military commanders met just last month and pledged to “maintain the peace and tranquillity” along their disputed border, in an apparent effort by the sides to stabilize the situation.

India says China occupies 38,000 square kilometers (15,000 square miles) of its territory in the Aksai Chin Plateau, which India considers part of Ladakh, where the current faceoff is happening.

China, in the meantime, began cementing relations with India’s archrival Pakistan and backing it on the issue of disputed Kashmir.

Firefights broke out again in 1967 and 1975, leading to more deaths on both sides. They’ve since adopted protocols, including an agreement not to use firearms, but those protocols have fractured.

Other than the potential effects on China-India relations, Xi’s absence at the summit will also eliminate the possibility of an interaction with US President Joe Biden. China-US relations remain at a historic low despite recent visits by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other officials to Beijing.

Xi has accumulated more power at home than any Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, and has adopted an increasingly aggressive approach to what he views as China’s territorial interests in the South China Sea and toward self-governing Taiwan, which China threatens to annex by force if necessary.

At the same time, China has struggled to recover economically from the hard-line policies it took to control Covid-19. Foreign businesses also have complained of an increasingly difficult environment in which to invest in and trade with the country.

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