Speaking on the possibility of a meeting between China’s President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden at the G20 Summit hosted by India this year, the White House stated that President Biden is looking forward to having a conversation and continuing ongoing engagement with China.
On September 1, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said, “I’ll just let the President’s words stand for himself. He (Joe Biden) spoke about it during his press conference at Camp David. You heard him speak of it, he’s looking forward to having that conversation, continuing that ongoing engagement.”
White House also recognised the uncertainty of the Chinese President’s participation in the G20 Summit and said that President Biden has said multiple times that he is looking forward to continuing his engagement and conversation with President Xi.
” So, as it relates to his attendance — President Xi’s attendance to the G20, I would leave that to, you know — to his spokesperson to answer that question, not for me to answer” said the White House Press Secretary.
Earlier on August 31, Reuters reported that sources familiar with the matter in India and China have revealed that President Xi Jinping is likely to skip the G20 Summit to be held in India next week.
On Xi’s behalf, Chinese Premier Li Qiang is expected to represent Beijing at the September 9- September 10 meeting in New Delhi, as per two Indian officials, one diplomat based in China and one official working for the government of another G20 country.
However, the spokespersons for the Indian and Chinese foreign ministries did not respond to requests for comment.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a conversation with Chinese President Xi on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in which he highlighted India’s concerns at the unresolved issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh with the two leaders agreeing to direct their relevant officials “to intensify efforts at expeditious disengagement and de-escalation”.
India and China have been engaged in a border standoff since 2020 due to the actions of the Chinese Army. There has been disengagement from some friction points along LAC in eastern Ladakh.
India and China held the 19th round of Corps Commander Level talks earlier this month at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point on the Indian side.
(with inputs from ANI)