Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping struck a tough tone with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G20 global meeting in Indonesia on Wednesday, complaining of “inappropriate” leaks to the press.
The standoff followed Canadian government sources discussing a world leaders’ conversation on the sidelines of the G-20 on Tuesday, during which Trudeau reportedly expressed “serious concerns” about China’s attempts to influence the country.
“Everything we discussed has been leaked to the newspapers. It’s not appropriate,” Xi told Trudeau in an informal conversation at the G20, according to video captured by a Canadian reporter at the pool. “And that’s not how the conversation was conducted.”
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The two leaders were speaking through an interpreter on the floor of the assembly hall.
Trudeau responded to the criticism, telling the Chinese leader, “We believe in free, open and frank dialogue and that is what we will continue to do.”
The prime minister has bluntly criticized China’s international policy, accusing the communist country of “playing aggressive games” to influence Canadian democracy.
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“We will continue to look forward to working constructively together, but there will be things we disagree on,” Trudeau added in his brief interaction with Xi on Wednesday.
“That’s great, but create the conditions first,” Xi replied through his interpreter before shaking Trudeau’s hand and leaving the conversation.
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President Biden met Xi on the sidelines of the conference G20 summit in Indonesia on Monday for the first time in person since Biden took office. The White House said Biden had raised concerns about Beijing’s “increasingly aggressive and coercive measures toward Taiwan,” among other areas of tension.
In a reading of the meeting, the White House He said Biden had expressed “concerns about the PRC’s practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, and human rights more broadly.”
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“Regarding Taiwan, he made it clear that our one-China policy has not changed, that the United States opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side and that the world has an interest in maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” the White House said. United on the increasingly oppressive and aggressive People’s Republic of China actions towards Taiwanwhich undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the broader region and endangers global prosperity.”