Xi Jinping, the president of China, announced recently that he would not be attending this week’s G20 summit, which will be held in India.
President Joe Biden said over the weekend that he was “disappointed” that Xi wouldn’t be attending the summit. However, while speaking with reporters in Delaware on Sunday, the president added that “I’m going to get to see him.”
Biden didn’t elaborate on what he meant by that, including whether he has a separate visit with Xi planned for while he is in India for the summit. Biden is set to go to New Delhi from September 7 through September 10 so he can attend the G20 Leaders’ Summit, according to Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House.
The last time the two world leaders met was back in November of 2022, during the last G20 summit that was held in Indonesia.
Relations between the two countries have really gone downhill since that time. One of the big things to happen since November 2022 was the Chinese spy balloon that flew over much of the continental U.S. before being shot down over the Atlantic Ocean.
While Biden hasn’t met directly with Xi in nearly a year, the president has sent some of his top officials overseas to meet with their Chinese counterparts. In recent months, outreach efforts have been taken by Gina Raimondo, the Commerce Secretary; Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary; and Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State.
Despite these outreach efforts, Biden has continued to call Xi a “dictator,” which he most recently did during a June White House visit with Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India.
Reporters who spoke with Biden as he was leaving church in Delaware on Sunday asked him about a video announcement that Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, released that said he’d be asking parliament to dismiss Oleksii Reznikov as the country’s defense minister.
Biden didn’t comment on that development, though.
The president was also asked what he’d like to achieve in both Vietnam and India. He responded:
“I want a little more coordination. I think they both want closer relations with the United States, and that could be very helpful.”
When the White House announced that Biden would be going to the G20 summit, it said that the president and the other G20 partners “will discuss a range of joint efforts to tackle global issues, including on clean energy transition and combating climate change, mitigating the economic and social impacts of Putin’s war in Ukraine, and increasing the capacity of multilateral development banks, including the World Bank, to better fight poverty, including by addressing global challenges.”
The White House added that Biden “will also commend Prime Minister Modi’s leadership of the G20 and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the G20 as the premier forum of economic cooperation, including by hosting it in 2026.”
While Xi will not be attending the summit, China will still have representation there. The Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that Premier Li Qiang will be representing his country at the summit.