G20 Summit: Chinese President Jinping and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau exchange beards


Chinese President Xi Jinping and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exchanged remarks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali on Wednesday over leaked reports of their meeting.

In perhaps a very rare open remark captured on a TV camera, an agitated Xi was seen objecting to Trudeau’s claim that everything they discussed at their previous meeting was leaked to the media.

“Everything we discuss has been leaked in the newspaper, it’s not appropriate,” Xi told Trudeau through a translator on the sidelines of the G20 meeting’s closing session.

“That’s not how the conversation was conducted,” he said.

Xi spoke in Chinese, which his official interpreter transmitted in English to Trudeau.

But Trudeau, 50, who looked impatient, interrupted the translator, saying: We believe in free, open and frank dialogue and that is what we will continue to have. We will continue to seek to work together constructively, but there will be things we disagree on.”

For that, 69-year-old Xi said, “let’s create the conditions first,” after which the pair shook hands and parted ways.

Asked about his exchange with Xi, Trudeau said: “Not every conversation will be easy, but it’s extremely important that we stand up for the things that are important to Canadians.

Xi and Trudeau reportedly met briefly on the sidelines of the G20 meeting during which they discussed the tense situation between the two countries.

For its part, China has not acknowledged Xi’s meeting with Trudeau.

Asked to confirm reports of their meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning told the press conference here that “I have nothing to share at this time.

It is perhaps the rarest of rare public outbursts from Xi, who was elected last month to an unprecedented third five-year term by the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

Known for being suave and steady in public while being tough and bossy in private, Xi has had numerous meetings with several world leaders, including with US President Joe Biden in Bali and also exchanged pleasantries with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a reception on the sidelines of the G20 meeting.

Canadian outlet Global News reported that during their 10-minute chat, Trudeau raised the issue of alleged Chinese interference in the Canadian election.

Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly also confirmed that she had discussed the same topics with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

For more than three years, China and Canada have had a bitter relationship mainly because of the detention of Meng Wanzhou, the high-profile daughter of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei by Canadian and American officials, for alleged bank fraud and have fought a long legal battle to avoid his extradition to America for trial.

She was finally released from lawful custody in September last year by Canada after reaching a settlement with US prosecutors over the bank fraud case that kept her in legal limbo for nearly three years.

She was released in exchange for two former Canadian diplomats Michael Spavor, Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor who were arrested in China in 2018 in retaliation for Meng’s arrest.

Meng was greeted as a hero when she returned home.

In recent weeks, Canada has alleged Chinese interference in Canadian elections by funding 11 federal candidates who ran in the 2019 election.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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