Prime Minister Li Qiang will lead China’s delegation to the G20 summit in India this weekend, Beijing said on Monday, all but confirming that President Xi Jinping will bypass the meeting of the world’s largest economies.
There had been speculation and media reports since last week that Xi would reject the event, but China has remained silent on the issue.
US President Joe Biden has said he would be “disappointed” to see Xi not attending the gathering of world leaders in New Delhi.
Beijing’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that Li would be at the G20 leaders’ summit on Saturday and Sunday, which it described as an important forum for economic cooperation.
“While attending this meeting, Premier Li Qiang will convey China’s views and positions on G20 cooperation, strengthen unity and cooperation on the G20, and address global economic and development challenges,” spokesman Mao Ning said at a regular news briefing. Will insist on working together to deal with it.”
Asked whether the announcement meant Xi would not travel to New Delhi, Mao said: “I have just made an announcement about this. Prime Minister Li Qiang will travel to New Delhi to attend the G20 leaders’ summit. Will lead a delegation to Delhi, India.”