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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin to Attend G20 Summit in Bali This November 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo previously said that both leaders had given him their individual assurances

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INDONESIA: Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, are all set to travel to the resort island of Bali in Indonesia to attend the prestigious G20 Summit to be held this November, as per details furnished by a long-time adviser to the Indonesian president on Friday.

Andi Widjajanto, former cabinet secretary and informal adviser to Indonesian president Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, notified Reuters that the two leaders would join the summit.

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Widjajanto, who heads the National Resilience Institute in Indonesia, told Reuters, “Jokowi told me that Xi and Putin are both planning to attend Bali”.

On Thursday, Jokowi told Bloomberg News that both leaders had given him their individual assurances. However, nothing was conclusively confirmed by Indonesian presidential officials, who declined to confirm the reports.

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Conversely, the Chinese Foreign Ministry or the Kremlin didn’t confirm the reports. However, an official familiar with the situation confirmed the news and said that Putin plans to attend in person.

The trip would be crucial since Xi’s first international trip since January 2020, when he last visited Myanmar. China’s strict zero-Covid Policy has been so stringent that the nation has shut all its borders to international travel.

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Since then, Xi made his only trip outside of mainland China on June 30, when he visited Hong Kong to felicitate the 25th anniversary of the handover of the territory from British occupation.

Xi has an important agenda coming up right before he heads off to Bali for the mid-November G20 gathering. He hopes to secure an astonishing third leadership term during a once-in-five-years congress of the ruling Congress party scheduled for this autumn. 

No dates of the meeting have been announced yet. However, the last two took place in late October and early November last year.

Chinese officials are reportedly utilizing the G20 conference as an opportunity to agree on a meeting between Xi and US president Joe Biden, who is also attending the G20 in Bali, as per a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Indonesia has faced immense pressure this year to host this summit and extend an invitation to Russia, which has been subject to global disgust since it launched its “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24.

Incidentally, Jokowi has also invited Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to attend the summit. Indonesia has always seen itself as a mediator between the two warring nations. In recent months, it has made several trips to both Russian and Ukraine presidents to call for an end to the war and solve the food crisis.

This week, Jokowi said that the two countries had embraced Indonesia as a “bridge of peace”.

Also Read: Union Cabinet Approves Setting Up G20 Secretariat for India’s Presidency

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