The Financial Times published a report titled, “Xi Jinping’s Absence Challenges G20 Status as Forum for Global Leadership”.

The report deals with reports indicating the absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping from the G20 summit to be held in India next week.

A Western official involved in the preparations for the summit considered that this news means that they are working to spoil our joint work throughout the year, considering that non-attendance is the obvious step.

Beijing has yet to confirm Xi’s decision to send Premier Li Qiang to the summit instead of the president, which Western officials say they were informed of by their Chinese counterparts.

But the absence of the Chinese president will be a blow to India’s rotating presidency of the multilateral gathering, according to the newspaper, and the setting of the New Delhi summit.

It also shakes the status of the G20 as the pre-eminent global leadership forum, amid deep divisions among its members.

The report referred to the cracks in the G20 since Russia’s secession from the West after its annexation of Crimea in 2014, and then the all-out war against Ukraine in February 2022.

The resulting global crisis, along with the growing tension between the United States and China in recent years, has exacerbated the fault lines between the group’s developed and developing country members.

Although the G20 managed to agree on an unexpected joint statement at the 2022 summit in Bali, the discussions that took place this year under the Indian presidency were marked by a seemingly unbridgeable rift between Western democracies on the one hand and Russia and China on the other regarding the war in Ukraine.

In the meetings of the foreign and finance ministers and other officials, India failed to obtain a single final statement agreed upon by all members.

Asked about Xi’s absence, China’s foreign ministry said on Friday that it would announce any travel plans at an appropriate time.

Paul Heinley, director of the Carnegie China think tank, was quoted as saying, “Xi’s failure to attend the India summit will hurt China more than the G20… Instead of benefiting from the G20, it diminishes China’s ability to shape the global agenda… He said the G20 won’t disappear”.

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