Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping attend G20 summits in Bali: Joko Widodo

Singapore: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin both plan to attend a Group of 20 summit on the resort island of Bali later this year, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said.

“Xi Jinping will come. President Putin also told me he’s coming,” Widodo, widely known as Jokowi, said in an interview with Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait on Thursday. It was the first time the leader of the world’s fourth most populous nation has confirmed both plan to appear at the November summit.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin in Beijing earlier this year.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin in Beijing earlier this year.Recognition:AP

Xi and Putin’s presence at the meeting would lead to a showdown with US President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders, all of whom will meet in person for the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The attack, which came just after Putin and Xi declared a partnership without borders, has left the G20 at odds over whether to impose sanctions on Russia.

China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Xi’s travel plans, who has not traveled abroad since the pandemic began. A Kremlin spokesman declined to comment, but another official familiar with the situation confirmed that Putin currently plans to attend the meeting in person.

Putin and Widodo discussed preparations for the G20 summit in Bali in a phone call on Thursday, the Kremlin said in a statement, which made no mention of whether the Russian leader would attend. Putin’s presence could also bring him into contact with Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the first time since the Russian invasion, as the Ukrainian president is also said to be in Bali.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a meeting with military officials in July. Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a meeting with military officials in July. Russia invaded Ukraine in February.Recognition:AP

Biden had called for Russia to be expelled from the G20 after its invasion of Ukraine, and US officials had previously pressured Indonesia to bar Putin from the Bali summit.

Tensions between the US and China are also rising, even as Biden and Xi leave open the possibility of holding their first in-person meeting on the sidelines of the Bali summit. China broke off talks with the US on defense and a range of other areas following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, while the White House has criticized Beijing’s military drills around the island.

“The rivalry between the big countries is indeed worrying,” said Widodo, 61, in the interview. “What we want is for this region to be stable and peaceful so that we can build economic growth. And I don’t just think Indonesia. Asian countries want the same thing.”

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/putin-and-xi-will-attend-g20-in-bali-widodo-20220819-p5bb6n.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping attend G20 summits in Bali: Joko Widodo

Joel McCord

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