Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday arrived in Osaka, Japan to attend the G20 summit during which he would hold bilateral talks with world leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, amid heightened trade tensions with America, an issue that is likely to dominate the event.
Xi is due to meet Prime Minister Modi during the Informal Summit of the leaders of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and RIC (Russia, India, China) on the sidelines of the June 28-29 event. The Chinese President is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Vice Premier Liu He, who is also China's chief negotiator in trade talks with the US, State Councillor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Xi is also expected to hold crucial talks with Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit meeting over the weekend. The leaders are likely to discuss the status of the trade agreement and find ways to finalise the deal, which has been stuck for the past several weeks as America alleges that China went back on its commitment from the draft trade bill.
However, before leaving for the Summit, Trump said that the US has Plan B ready if the deal does not go through with China. It would include doing less business with China and taking in billions of dollars from it every month. Ahead of Xi's visit, China said the informal meetings of the BRICS and RICs nations would be focussed on opposing unilateralist and protectionist policies of the US.
“In the upcoming Osaka summit, President Xi will have informal summit with the BRICS leaders. The discussion topics will fit in well with the agenda of the G20 summit,” Zhang Jun, China's Assistant Foreign Minister, told media here on Monday. The leaders will have good discussions and exchange of view to enhance cooperation to meet major challenges facing the international community, uphold multilateralism and oppose protectionism, he said.
The other topics of discussion at the BRICS leaders informal meeting will include cooperation on economy, political issues, security and people to people exchange to further deepen cooperation among the BRICS nations, he said. Highlighting the importance of meetings between Xi, Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Zhang said that “given the current international landscape, the meeting between the three leaders is also of significance.
As you know China's relations with Russia and India are showing sound momentum of growth”. While informal meetings of the BRICS and RIC take place in all the multilateral summits, Chinese officials say the Osaka meetings assumes significance as all major countries besides India, China and Russia faced trade and tariff related frictions with US.
Talking about the meeting of the leaders of the RICs nations, Zhang said “the three leaders also maintained close exchanges” at different multilateral forums. “Under the current circumstances, it is important for the three countries to strengthen coordination on major global issues and jointly uphold multilateralism, oppose protectionism and deepen cooperation on multilateral and international affairs to make important contribution to the global peace,” he said.