Beijing | Chinese President Xi Jinping will not attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi this week and the delegation will be led by Premier Li Qiang, the foreign ministry announced here on Monday as it expressed Beijing's readiness to work with all parties to make the high-profile meeting a success.
At the invitation of the Government of India, Premier of the State Council Li will attend the 18th G20 Summit to be held in New Delhi, India on September 9 and 10, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said in a brief statement.
Later at a regular foreign ministry briefing, Mao did not provide any reason for President Xi's absence from the high-profile conclave hosted by India for the first time.
"I have made the announcement just now and shared with you the information I have," she said in response to a question about why President Xi is not attending the G20 Summit in India.
"I already covered this. The G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation. China attaches high importance to and actively participates in G20 activities," Mao said in response to another question about President Xi skipping the summit.
The G20 is an important forum for international economic cooperation. China has all along attached great importance to and taken an active part in G20 events, Mao said.
"During this year's G20 Summit, Premier Li Qiang will share China's views and propositions on G20 cooperation, and promote greater solidarity and cooperation among G20 countries and joint response to global economic and development challenges," Mao said.
"We are ready to work with all parties to make the G20 Summit a success and contribute to the steady recovery of the global economy and sustainable development," she added.
In response to a question by China's official media, Mao said that as the world economy experiences more downward pressure and challenges grow for global sustainable development, it is important that the G20, being the premier forum for international economic cooperation, strengthen partnership and rise up to the big challenges facing global economy and development so as to contribute to world economic recovery and growth and global sustainable development.
"We hope the New Delhi summit will form consensus on that, send out a message of confidence, and promote shared prosperity and development," the foreign ministry spokesperson added.
President Xi is also skipping the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and East Asia summits in Jakarta this week.
Premier Li will be representing China at the ASEAN Summit in Indonesia from September 5 to 8.
Now, Premier Li is expected to travel to India after attending the East Asia summit in Jakarta. In 2021, Chinese President Xi did not travel to Italy to participate in the G20 summit due to China's COVID-19 restrictions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has already conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi his decision not to attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi in person as he has to focus on the "special military operation" in Ukraine.
The Russian president had skipped the Bali summit of G20 in November last year as well.
US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are among the G20 leaders who have already confirmed their participation in the G20 Summit.
Meanwhile, US President Biden has said he is "disappointed" that his Chinese counterpart Xi plans to skip the upcoming G20 summit in India.
"I am disappointed... but I am going to get to see him," Biden told reporters on Sunday but did not say when that meeting may take place.
Xi and Biden last met at the G20 summit in Indonesia last year.
US-China relations remain tense despite a flurry of diplomatic visits from Washington this year to Beijing to revive dialogue and avoid a confrontation.
The G20 member countries represent around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.
The grouping comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union.