China’s Foreign Ministry announced on September 4 that President Xi Jinping will for the first time skip a G-20 summit, with the Chinese Premier and second-ranked leader Li Qiang instead deputed to attend the September 9-10 meet in New Delhi.

No reasons have been given for Xi skipping the summit, a key annual diplomatic event that China has usually placed special emphasis on, viewing it as an important platform to shape the global order and exert its rising clout.

Xi only recently attended the BRICS summit in South Africa on August 24, when he hailed the decision to expand the grouping. Xi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not have a formal bilateral meeting in South Africa but held an informal conversation on the sidelines, during which they discussed the as yet unresolved crisis along the Line of Actual Control.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday announced that “at the invitation of India, Chinese Premier Li Qiang will attend the G-20 summit from September 9 to 10 in India.”

“China looks forward to the G-20 New Delhi summit reaching a consensus on tackling challenges in the economy and development, conveying confidence to the outside world and promoting shared prosperity and growth,” a spokesperson said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador have already regretted being unable to attend the summit. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Mexican Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro Sanchez will attend in their place. (The Hindu)