Why China’s President Xi Jinping is not attending G20 Summit in India?

China’s President Xi Jinping is not attending G20 Summit

New Delhi: The G20 Summit, the most prestigious gathering of the world’s 20 major economies, is set to take place in India on September 9 and 10. The summit, which will be hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is expected to discuss various global issues such as climate change, pandemic recovery, trade and investment, digital economy and sustainable development.

However, one of the most prominent leaders of the G20, Chinese President Xi Jinping, has decided to skip the summit and send his Premier Li Qiang instead. This has raised many eyebrows and sparked speculations about the reasons behind Xi’s absence.

China’s foreign ministry has not given any official explanation for Xi’s decision, but some analysts have suggested that it could be due to several factors, such as:

  • The strained bilateral relations between China and India over the border dispute in Ladakh, which erupted in a violent clash in June 2020 that killed 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops. The two sides have been engaged in a military standoff since then, with several rounds of talks failing to resolve the issue. China may not want to face India on its home turf and give an impression of conceding ground to its rival.
  • The growing anti-China sentiment in India and other countries over Beijing’s aggressive policies on various fronts, such as its crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy movement, its human rights violations in Xinjiang, its maritime expansionism in the South China Sea and its economic coercion against Australia. China may fear that attending the G20 summit would expose it to criticism and isolation from the international community.
  • The possible formation of an anti-China coalition among some of the G20 members, such as the US, India, Japan and Australia, who have been strengthening their strategic partnership under the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) framework. China may perceive the G20 summit as a platform for these countries to coordinate their policies and actions against Beijing’s interests.
  • The domestic political situation in China, where Xi is preparing for his third term as the leader of the ruling Communist Party next year. Xi may want to avoid any potential risks or distractions that could affect his image and authority at home. He may also prefer to host foreign leaders in China rather than travel abroad, as a way of showcasing his power and prestige.

Whatever the reasons may be, Xi’s absence from the G20 summit is likely to have significant implications for the global order and regional stability. It may also affect the prospects of cooperation and dialogue between China and India on various issues of mutual interest and concern.

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