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China’s Potential to Disrupt G20 Summit: US Alert

A top US official, National Security Advisor Sullivan, emphasized China’s role at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, stating, “If China wants to come in and play the role of spoiler, of course, that option is available to them.” Sullivan stressed India’s encouragement for constructive engagement on climate, multilateral development, bank reform, debt relief, and technology, setting aside geopolitical issues for the benefit of developing countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping opted not to attend the G20 Summit, with Premier Li Qiang leading the delegation. Sullivan mentioned that President Joe Biden expects progress at the G20, emphasizing the need for constructive participation from all members. Key priorities include climate, health, digital technology, and addressing Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

Sullivan reaffirmed the US commitment to the G20 as a critical forum for global problem-solving, highlighting the United States’ intention to host the G20 in 2026. Asia Society Vice President Daniel Russel noted Xi’s absence and suggested that it reflects strained PRC-Indian relations. While Li substitutes for Xi, Russel pointed out that Xi’s rationale for skipping the summit is unclear but may be related to pressuring the US for concessions, including easing export restrictions on advanced technology.

The absence of Xi and Putin presents an opportunity for Biden to dominate the agenda, focusing on Russia, clean energy transition, and addressing the debt burden in developing nations, much of which China holds.


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