President Biden said Sunday he is “disappointed” about the reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping will likely skip this week’s G20 summit in India.
“I am disappointed, but I am going to see him,” Biden told reporters in Rehoboth Beach, Del., when asked about Xi not attending the G20 summit.
Biden did not expand upon where he might see Xi in the future.
Biden’s comments come after multiple media reports last week said Xi will likely not be attending the G20 summit in New Delhi.
Biden’s trip to the summit, announced last week, is expected to be another opportunity for the U.S. to increase cooperation with Indo-Pacific allies as a counterbalance to China.
Last week, Biden said he still “hoped” Xi would attend the summit, which was largely seen as an opportunity to ease ongoing tensions between the U.S. and China.
The two leaders met at last year’s G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, in their first in-person meeting since Biden took office. During that meeting, Biden told Xi their countries should manage their differences to prevent competition from becoming conflict.
Tensions between the U.S. and China have since risen on various issues, including technology, espionage, economic competition and military power. Multiple close military confrontations in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait have also contributed to these tensions, in addition to a surveillance balloon incident last February and recent reports that China has operated a spy base in Cuba since at least 2019.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden will visit India from Sept. 7-10 for the summit, where he will attend multiple bilateral meetings with other world leaders, but Sullivan did not disclose which leaders.
Multiple U.S. leaders including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have visited China in recent months in an effort to improve relations with China.