US President Joe Biden said he was disappointed about reports his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, plans to skip the G20 summit in New Delhi this week.
“I am disappointed, but I am going to get to see him,” Biden told reporters in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Sunday when asked about indications Xi will not join the leaders’ summit.
Biden didn’t say where he might next meet with the Chinese president. If Xi doesn’t travel to Delhi, he and Biden may have an opportunity to meet in November, when the US hosts the APEC conference in San Francisco.
Xi is not planning to travel to India for the summit, according to officials familiar with preparations for the meeting who requested anonymity to speak about the planning. The decision comes amid mounting tensions between China and India and is likely to further chill their relations.
Chinese Premier Li Qiang will attend the summit in Xi’s place, according to a person familiar, while another said it would be another yet-to-be-named government official.
Biden and Xi last spoke on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, in November, but any progress was derailed when an alleged Chinese spy balloon crossed the US.
The two countries have fundamental disagreements over a range of issues from Taiwan, fueled in part by US lawmakers visiting the island and a trip by Taiwan’s president to the US, to Biden’s export bans on semiconductor technology, reports about Chinese surveillance from Cuba, and the balloon incident.
A number of high-level Biden administration officials have traveled to China in recent months, seeking to improve ties, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, climate envoy John Kerry, and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
The US had expectations that the G20 meet in India could be the next step to thaw the relationship with China.
Biden said last week he “hopes” that Xi would attend the summit.