PNS | Washington
US President Joe Biden has said that he is looking forward to his trip to India this week but is “disappointed” that his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will not attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
Biden will travel to India on September 7 to participate in the G20 Summit and will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 8 on the sidelines of the historic meeting, the White House announced on Friday.
In its capacity as the current president of G20, India is hosting the annual summit of the influential grouping in New Delhi on September 9 and 10.
Ahead of his trip, reporters asked Biden on Sunday whether he was looking forward to his visits to India and Vietnam.
“Yes, I am,” Biden replied.He expressed his disappointment over President Xi of China not attending the summit in New Delhi.
“I am disappointed, but I am going to get to see him,” Biden said in response to a question.
Biden, along with more than two dozen world leaders, is scheduled to attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi that is being hosted by Prime Minister Modi.
Biden and Xi last spoke in person in November 2022 on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali, where they pledged to restore channels of communication in an effort to prevent rising tensions from spilling into open conflict. That meeting is the only time the two have met in person since Biden took office in January 2021.
In Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that President Xi will not attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi this week and the delegation will be led by Premier Li Qiang.
Premier Li will travel to India after attending the East Asia summit in Jakarta. In 2021, Chinese President Xi did not travel to Italy to participate in the G20 summit due to China’s COVID-19 restrictions.
US President Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are among the G20 leaders who have already confirmed their participation in the summit.
Modi will hand over the baton of the G20 Presidency to Brazilian President Lula on September 10.
Brazil will formally assume the G20 Presidency on December 1
The G20 member countries represent around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.
The grouping comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union (EU).