G-20 Latest: Biden and Xi Meeting Gets Underway in Bali
Leaders from Group of 20 nations are gathering this week in Bali, Indonesia, for their first summit since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
(Bloomberg) -- US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are meeting at a hotel in Bali, Indonesia, marking the first in-person conversation between the leaders of the world’s biggest economies since the pandemic emerged.
The meeting comes on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Bali. Officials from both countries have tempered expectations for the sit down, with tensions high over US curbs on chip exports to China and the status of Taiwan.
Aside from US-China tensions, a key focus of the summit will be Russia’s war in Ukraine, now in its ninth month and with Moscow on the back foot militarily. Wrangling goes on over the wording of a potential communique, especially the word war to describe what Russia insists on calling a “special military operation.”
- Biden Meets Xi in Bali as Asia Allies Look to Lower Temperature
- Split Over Russia Wording Widens in Threat to G-20 Communique
- Turkey’s Erdogan Finds Himself a Surprise G-20 Power Broker
- Eight Things to Watch for as Global Leaders Meet in Bali
- Biden’s Chip Curbs Beat Trump in Forcing World to Align on China
(All times local)
Split Over Russia Wording Imperils Communique (7:54 p.m.)
Moscow’s refusal to describe the invasion as a war is the biggest sticking point in getting a communique agreed, potentially pitting Russia, China and emerging market countries on one side and most other member states on the other. It means the G-20 could for the first time wrap up without a joint statement agreed by all members.
One possible scenario is a so-called split communique where nations separate into groups depending on their stance on a particular issue, according to diplomats familiar with the negotiations. Another possibility is a 19+1 statement (where the bulk of the G-20 signs on and Russia issues a dissenting paper) or a summary of the discussions is produced by the Indonesian hosts.
Russia might agree to wording that refers to conflicts in general without singling it out on Ukraine, a person familiar with the discussions said, but that may not satisfy the US and others. It could end up with what one official called a compromise. But some nations may also end up just abstaining from the whole thing.
Biden Meets Xi in Bali as Asia Allies Look to Lower Temperature (5:46 p.m.)
The two leaders shook hands before the start of their meeting, which is expected to go for at least two hours, after which Biden plans to hold a news conference. “Good to see you,” Biden said to Xi before they went into a meeting room.
Meetings with the leaders of Japan, South Korea and Australia on Sunday were preludes for Biden’s much-anticipated meeting with the Chinese leader, White House officials said, with the president explaining his approach and seeking out their concerns.
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Russia Denies Foreign Minister Taken to Hospital in Bali (5:30 p.m.)
The comment by the foreign ministry followed an Associated Press report that Sergei Lavrov was taken to Sanglah Hospital in the provincial capital of Denpasar after suffering a health problem. Maria Zakharova, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, called the report “of course the highest level of fakes” in a Telegram post.
Shortly afterward, she posted a video of Lavrov sitting on what appeared to be the terrace of his hotel in shorts and a T-shirt, reading documents. He dismissed the report and said he’s preparing for the G-20 meeting Tuesday. Lavrov is representing Russia at the summit given Vladimir Putin is not attending in person.
Xi to Meet Japan’s Kishida in Thailand (4:36 p.m.)
The Chinese president and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida are set to meet in Thailand on Thursday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters in Tokyo.
It’ll be the first in-person conversation between the leaders of the Asian neighbors for three years and marks an attempt to steady a relationship that’s turned increasingly sour in that time. Matsuno said ties between Asia’s two largest economies had great potential but faced many problems and that Kishida would urge Xi to behave in a responsible way.
Kishida, whose country is a close ally of the US, criticized China for what he called infringements of Japanese sovereignty in a session during the Asean summit on Sunday, national broadcaster NHK reported.
EU’s von der Leyen Says She Wanted to See Putin Face to Face (4:01 p.m.)
Putin should have traveled to Bali to take part in person, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “I wish that President Putin would have been here so that we could have the discussion face to face, and could have said what we think of his atrocious war,” von der Leyen told Bloomberg TV on Monday.
Still, even with the Russian leader absent, signing a summit communique “absolutely should be the goal,” she added.
China Expresses Concern About Nuclear Threats, US says (2:46 p.m.)
Premier Li Keqiang stressed the irresponsibility of nuclear threats in a conversation with Biden at the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, a US official said on Monday, with the US interpreting that to be a reference to Russia’s nuclear warnings in relation to Ukraine.
There was clearly discomfort in Beijing about Putin’s nuclear rhetoric, the US official said, adding that senior Chinese officials have been surprised and even embarrassed by Russia’s conduct of the war in Ukraine.
Australian Leader to meet With Xi on G-20 Sidelines (2:33 p.m.)
Anthony Albanese will have a bilateral chat with the Chinese president on Tuesday, with ties between their countries increasingly strained in recent years.
Speaking to reporters after arriving in Bali, Albanese said there were no preconditions on the talks. “Dialogue is always a good thing,” he said. “We need to talk in order to develop mutual understanding.”
Albanese said he also plans separate sitdowns with the leaders of Indonesia, India, France and the UK while in Bali.
US to Aid Indonesia’s Transition to Clean Energy (12:48 p.m.)
Biden said he and Indonesian President Joko Widodo would unveil a “transformative new partnership” Tuesday to aid Indonesia’s transition to clean energy.
Biden hinted at the coming announcement as he met Widodo Monday ahead of the G-20 summit. The leaders are expected to unveil a climate deal that could provide Indonesia with at least $15 billion in financing to help the country shift its power grid away from coal.
The US has sought to help Indonesia — one of the world’s top polluters — reduce its greenhouse gas emissions through a series of financing mechanisms. Biden on Monday said the US and Indonesia had committed nearly $700 million for green transportation infrastructure in the country.
Jokowi Meets UAE Leader, Tours Central Java Mosque (12:03 p.m.)
Widodo and United Arab Emirates President, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, inaugurated the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Central Java, the Southeast Asian nation’s third-most populous province. They met at the airport in Surakarta, where the president known as Jokowi began his political career, and the pair headed to the mosque — a gift from the UAE leader — in the same car.
Both presidents prayed together upon arrival at the mosque before signing an inscription and planting a Sala tree in the courtyard. The mosque can accommodate around 10,000 worshipers.
Biden Looks to Set Guardrails on China Ties in Xi Meeting (10:45 a.m.)
The US president is seeking to prevent ties with China from deteriorating further in his meeting with Xi, American officials said.
Biden will seek to build a floor under the relationship and increase communication responsibly and practically, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the meeting. The effort to plan the meeting by itself has helped to resume more normal communications with Beijing, they said.
China cut off working-level cooperation with the US in areas including military relations and climate change after Nancy Pelosi became the first House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years earlier this year.
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Australia Open to Ending WTO Dispute With China (10:45 a.m.)
Australia’s government is open to discussing ways to avoid World Trade Organization arbitration of its trade dispute with China, amid speculation of a possible meeting between Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and President Xi Jinping.
Australia and China have been locked in a trade dispute since 2020, when then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an international investigation into the origins of Covid-19. China subsequently imposed trade sanctions on a range of Australian exports including meat, coal, barley and wine.
War in Ukraine May See Australia Cut Gas Prices ( 10:15 a.m.)
Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers said measures to reduce gas costs for consumers and businesses would be put in place by Christmas as a global energy crisis has seen power bills surge.
Speaking to Bloomberg TV’s Stephen Engle on the sidelines of G-20, Chalmers said the government would never have contemplated intervening in domestic gas markets if it wasn’t for “dire forecasts” in energy prices over the coming months and years.
Chalmers said the chaos in energy markets caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the defining challenge facing the global economy and all options are on the table to tackle it, including a “regulatory intervention” such as a cap on prices.
Turkey’s President a Surprise G-20 Power Broker (10:33 a.m.)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan comes to Bali with an unexpected boost from the role he’s played securing global grain supplies during Russia’s war in Ukraine. Erdogan’s burgeoning reputation as a power broker wasn’t a given when Russia invaded Ukraine in February, threatening the delicate balancing act the Turkish leader has kept up between Moscow, Ukraine and his own NATO allies since at least 2016.
Yet as he arrives at the G-20, Erdogan appears increasingly confident of his place at the table. He’s more sought after for his continued ties to Putin, and more sure of re-election in a vote scheduled for next year, as his offshore exploits help put a floor under previously waning domestic support.
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