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Not Xi, Chinese premier Li Qiang will attend G20 Summit in India, confirms Beijing

Beijing: Setting at rest all speculations around Chinese President Xi Jinping's participation at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has announced that Li Qiang will attend the 18th G20 Summit to be held in New Delhi, India on September 9 and 10. 
Quoting foreign ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, the statement read, "At the invitation of the government of the Republic of India, Premier of the State Council Li Qiang will attend the 18th G20 Summit to be held in New Delhi, India, on September 9 and 10."
However, no reason was given in the statement about Xi's absence from the summit.
Earlier, Reuters had reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to skip the G20 Summit to be held in India.
Sources in China, two of whom said they were informed by Chinese officials, added they were not aware of the reason for Xi’s expected absence, according to Reuters.
The Chinese President has made few overseas trips since China abruptly dropped its Covid restrictions. He, however, attended the BRICS Summit in South Africa last week.
Several G20 ministerial meetings in India ahead of the summit have been contentious as Russia and China together opposed joint statements which included paragraphs condemning Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine last year, according to Reuters.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Xi on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit during which he highlighted India's concerns over the unresolved issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in Ladakh.
The two leaders agreed to direct their relevant officials "to intensify efforts at expeditious disengagement and de-escalation".
Along with Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin will also not attend the summit in India.
According to a statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry, Lavrov is expected to attend two plenary sessions on September 9 and 10. Lavrov is scheduled to hold several bilateral talks and contacts on the sidelines of the summit.

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