President Xi Jinping of China has chosen not to participate in the forthcoming G20 summit in India, which will take place on September 9 and 10 in New Delhi. This is an unexpected decision, as Xi has been present at every G20 summit since he became China’s leader in 2012. What are the factors behind his absence, and what does it imply for the relations between the two Asian powers?
Sources close to the matter say that one of the main factors for Xi’s decision is the continuing border conflict between China and India, which has led to a military standoff and several skirmishes in the Ladakh region since last year. The conflict has also harmed the trade and diplomatic relations between the two countries, as both sides have enforced restrictions and sanctions on each other. India has also prohibited several Chinese apps, such as TikTok and WeChat, and expelled some Chinese journalists.
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Another potential factor for Xi’s absence is the recent dispute over a new Chinese map that asserts parts of India’s territory, including Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. The map was issued by China’s National Bureau of Statistics as part of its seventh national census report, and provoked protests from India’s government and media. India has charged China with violating its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and demanded that China abide by the existing agreements on the boundary issue.
Why China president not coming
Some analysts also propose that Xi may be evading the G20 summit in India because of his tense relations with other world leaders, especially those from the US and its allies. Xi has faced criticism and pressure from the international community over various issues, such as China’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, its suppression of Hong Kong’s democracy movement, its human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and its hostile actions in the South China Sea. By missing the summit, Xi may be trying to avoid conflict and humiliation on the global stage.
Xi’s absence from the G20 summit in India will have important consequences for the bilateral and multilateral cooperation between China and India, as well as other countries. On one hand, it may indicate a further decline of trust and communication between the two neighbors, and lower the chances of resolving their disputes peacefully. On the other hand, it may also create an opportunity for dialogue and engagement between other leaders, such as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden, who are expected to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern at the summit.
The G20 summit in India is a major platform for international economic cooperation, and China is one of its key members. By sending Premier Li Qiang instead of President Xi Jinping, Chinese may be trying to balance its interests and obligations, while also showing its dissatisfaction and displeasure with India. However, this decision may also backfire, as it may isolate Chinese from its partners and rivals alike, and damage its influence and reputation in the world.