Home News On Buzz Xi May Skip India G20 Summit, Sources Say “Attendance Varies…”

On Buzz Xi May Skip India G20 Summit, Sources Say “Attendance Varies…”


China’s Xi Jinping may not attend the G20 Summit in Delhi between September 8 and 10. (File)

New Delhi:

Amid the buzz over China’s announcement that the G20 Summit in Delhi this weekend will be attended by its premier Le Qiang – and not President Xi Jinping –, government sources have pointed out it is natural and that “level of attendance at global summits varies from year to year” and highlighted demands on their time as one reason why some global leaders may not be in Delhi.

Following weeks of buzz over the Chinese president’s no show at the summit, the Chinese foreign ministry confirmed this afternoon that its premier Le Qiang will represent the country in India, which is holding the rotating presidency of G20 this year.

Sources said on Sunday that given world leaders’ busy schedules “it is not always possible for every leader to attend every summit” and that many may skip summits for personal reasons.

“These things do not reflect anything about the host country.”

Sources also said that of 17 summits held from 2008 (including the 2020 meet in Saudi Arabia that was held online due to the COVID pandemic), “there has never been a single occasion from 2010 till now when every country has attended at head of state level”.

Between 2010 and 2013, and in 2016 and 2017, six countries were represented below HoS/HoG level and, in 2010, 2014-15, and 2018-19, there five were such occasions.

In 2021 – the worst year of the pandemic – six countries were led by individuals below HoS/HoG rank. In 2022 – after Russia’s illegal war on Ukraine – three sent teams not lead by designated HoS/HoGs.

READ |“Request From Chinese Side”: India Denies Beijing’s Claims On PM Modi-Xi Jinping Meet

Only Canada, Germany, India, Italy, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union have always sent a head of state to a G20 summit.

China, France, Indonesia, Japan and South Africa have not done so on one instance each, which Argentina, Australia, Brazil and Russia have done so two times each.

US President Joe Biden has said he will be disappointed if Mr Jinping does not attend but added “I am going to get to see him”, although he did not specify when and where.

READ | “Disappointed, But…”: Biden On Reports That Xi May Skip India G20 Summit

On this occasion too, Russia will not be represented by a head of state after President Vladimir Putin conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he will not be present.

Mr Putin will send foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in his place.

READ | In Call With PM Modi, Putin Says Russian Foreign Minister To Attend G20 In Delhi

The President of Mexico hasn’t attended a G20 Summit since 2018 and Saudi Arabia has failed to send a head of state on no fewer than nine instances, including sending a junior minister (without a portfolio) for the 2017 summit in Hamburg in Germany.

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