New Delhi: Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Friday arrived at Delhi's Palam airbase to attend the G20 summit. He will lead his country in the deliberations over two days in the absence of President Xi Jinping.
Beijing had earlier confirmed that the Chinese President would give the summit, which is being hosted in the national capital under India's presidency, a miss.
The Chinese Premier was received by Union Minister of State of Road Transport and Highways, Vijay Kumar Singh, at the Palam airbase.
The two-day huddle of world leaders and delegates representing international organisations would be hosted at the state-of-the-art Bharat Mandapam at Delhi's Pragati Maidan.
The 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi will be a culmination of all the G20 processes and meetings held throughout the year among ministers, senior officials, and civil societies.
This is the first time that G20 Summit is taking place under India’s presidency. Elaborate preparations and arrangements have been made for the summit in a bid to showcase India’s soft power as well as its emergence as a key global player.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China announced that Premier Li Qiang will attend the 18th G20 Summit in the absence of President Xi.
However, no reason was cited in the statement on why the Chinese President had decided to give the summit a miss.
However, claiming that President Xi’s absence will not cast a shadow on the G20 Summit, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said there have been presidents or Prime Ministers, who, for some reason, chose not to come for global meetings and that the country's position would be articulated and put forward by the leader filling in for him.
“I do not think it has anything to do with India. I think whatever decision they make, they would know best,” Jaishankar said in response to another query.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Xi on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit during which he highlighted India's concerns over the unresolved issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in Ladakh.
The two leaders agreed to direct their relevant officials "to intensify efforts at expeditious disengagement and de-escalation".
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), despite tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the bilateral relations between India and China have expanded and become more diversified in the past decade.
During the visit of President Xi to India in September 2014, the two sides redefined the bilateral engagement as a 'Closer Developmental Partnership'.
India and China have established more than thirty dialogue mechanisms at various levels, covering bilateral political, economic, cultural, people-topeople, consular matters as well as dialogues on regional and global issues.