Chinese President Xi Jinping Decides to Skip G20 Summit in Delhi: Premier Li Qiang to Represent China
In a significant development, Chinese President Xi Jinping has made the decision to forego the G20 summit scheduled to be held in India next week. Instead, Premier Li Qiang is set to represent China at this prominent international gathering, as per sources close to the situation. This decision marks a notable absence of the Chinese leader from the global summit, shedding light on the dynamics within the G20 community.
**Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Absence at G20 Summit**
Adding to the list of high-profile no-shows at the G20 summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin has conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi his inability to attend the event in person. Putin cited his focus on a “special military operation” in Ukraine as the reason for his absence. This follows his absence from the Bali G20 summit in November the previous year.
**Past Instances of Leaders Skipping G20 Summits**
It’s important to note that many leaders have skipped G20 summits in the past for various reasons. Such decisions are often attributed to personal or political circumstances and should not be interpreted as reflections on the host country. The absence of leaders from these events has occurred in prior years without undermining the summit’s significance.
**India’s Role as G20 President**
India is currently serving as the president of the G20, and the country is preparing to host the annual summit of this influential global grouping in New Delhi on September 9 and 10. Despite the absence of some world leaders, the summit is expected to address critical global issues and challenges.
**Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Additional Omissions**
Notably, Chinese President Xi Jinping is also forgoing the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and East Asia summits scheduled to take place in Jakarta the following week. This collective absence at multiple international summits underscores China’s approach to its diplomatic engagements.
**Historical Perspective on G20 Summit Attendance**
Reviewing the history of G20 summits, it becomes evident that attendance levels have varied from year to year. With leaders facing numerous demands on their time and resources, it is not always feasible for every head of state or government to attend every summit. Since 2008, there have been 16 physical G20 summits and one virtual summit (in Saudi Arabia in 2020).
During this period, there have been six instances (in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2017) when the representation at G20 summits fell below the level of Heads of State (HOS) or Heads of Government (HOG) from one member country. Additionally, there were five occasions when two member countries had representation below the HOS/HOG level.
**The G20’s Global Significance**
It’s worth highlighting that the G20 member countries collectively represent a substantial portion of the global economy, accounting for approximately 85% of global GDP, over 75% of global trade, and about two-thirds of the world’s population. This diverse group comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S., and the European Union (EU).
The absence of key leaders at the upcoming G20 summit raises questions about the dynamics shaping global diplomacy and the issues that continue to command the attention of world leaders.