Xi, Putin Set to Attend G20 Meeting in Indonesia

Chinese President Xi and Russian President Putin will attend the G20 meeting scheduled for this November in Indonesia, according to Indonesian President Joko Widodo who said that the two leaders have given him their assurances. Russian officials confirmed that Putin was planning to attend, though no formal announcement has been made so far.

If Xi attends, it will be his first visit outside mainland China and Hong Kong since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the country more than two years ago.

Xi’s only trip outside of mainland China in two and a half years was on June 30, visiting Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of the handover of the territory from British control.

Xi is expected to secure an unprecedented third term this year during the Communist Party Congress scheduled for this autumn. The exact date of the congress is not announced but the last two took place in late October and early November. The G20 meeting in Indonesia is scheduled for Nov. 15 and 16.

Chinese officials have also been making plans for a November meeting between Xi and Biden in Southeast Asia. Biden is also expected to attend the G20 summit in Bali.

Indonesia has been facing pressure from the West to withdraw his invitation to Putin over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Indonesia has also invited Ukrainian President Zelenskiy to attend the summit.

Joko Widodo has been trying to position himself as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia, and has travelled in recent months to meet both countries’ leaders to call for an end to the war, and seek ways to restart food shipments.

This week, Joko Widodo said both countries have accepted Indonesia as a “bridge of peace”.

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