‘Unprecedented scolding’ by party elders could be reason behind Xi Jinping’s no-show at G20 summit in India: Report – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Chinese president Xi Jinping will skip the G20 summit this week in New Delhi.
The Chinese leader’s unexpected decision not to attend G20 summit being held in India this year came as a surprise considering Xi’s consistent record of attending all previous such meetings.
Reports now suggest that the decision may been linked to internal politics being played out in China.
According to a report on Nikkei Asia, the root of the political shakeup can be traced back to this summer’s Beidaihe meeting – the annual gathering of incumbent and retired leaders of the Chinese Communist Party at the Beidaihe seaside resort.
While the discussions at this meeting are typically kept under wraps, details from this year’s closed-door talks have started to emerge.
This particular Beidaihe meeting had a notably different atmosphere compared to the previous ten which occurred during Xi’s tenure as party general secretary since 2012, the report said.
A dressing down from seniors?
Sources told Nikkei Asia that at this year’s meeting, a group of retired party elders “reprimanded” Xi and questioned him in ways they hadn’t till now.
Some prominent party elders were absent from this meeting, such as former President Jiang Zemin, who passed away last November at the age of 96.
Xi’s immediate predecessor, Hu Jintao, who has kept a low profile since his unceremonious removal from the Great Hall of the People at party’s national congress, was also absent from the meet.
While only a few elders attended the face-to-face meeting with current leaders, including Xi, their message was clear: continued political, economic, and social turmoil without effective countermeasures could erode the party’s support and threaten its rule.

At the forefront of these elders was former vice president Zeng Qinghong and close aide to former President Jiang.
The report said Xi’s decision to forgo the upcoming G20 summit in India is likely an attempt to “avoid losing face”.
Pointing fingers
According to the report, a flustered Xi voiced his frustration to his closest aides, blaming them for the crisis that China is currently facing.
The Chinese leader also pointed fingers at his predecessors — Deng Xiaoping, Jiang, and Hu — for “leaving behind unresolved issues” that now burden his leadership.
He emphasized that it was their responsibility to address these problems, the report said.
The outburst worried his ministers, particularly Premier Li, who is responsible for China’s troubled economy.
Economic woes
The unprecedented criticism of Xi Jinping, who has assumed near-cult status in the country, comes at a time of a severe economic crisis in China.
From slump in the property bubble to worsening youth unemployment rate, Chinese economy is grappling with a series of problems over the last few years.


Moreover, the military has also witnessed turbulence, with the removal of top Rocket Force generals and the sudden dismissal of foreign minister Qin Gang for unknown reasons.
China’s economic struggles have also strained its relations with the world, resulting in sluggish trade and declining foreign investment.
Xi’s decision to skip the G20 summit in India appears to be an attempt to save face in the midst of these challenges, the report said.
Moreover, it is likely that Premier Li, as the head of China’s economy, will address these concerns during his attendance.

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