Aug 19, 2022 - World

Xi and Putin plan to attend G20 summit in Bali, Indonesian leader says

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photograph during their meeting in Beijing, on February 4.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping during their meeting in Beijing on Feb. 4. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

China's President Xi Jinping and Russia's leader Vladimir Putin plan to attend the G20 summit in Bali later this year, according to Indonesian officials.

The big picture: President Biden is expected to attend November's forum, setting the stage for the first summit involving the leaders of the U.S., China and Russia since Putin's forces invaded Ukraine and tensions between Washington and Beijing became further heightened after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been invited to the summit, which would mark Xi's first visit to another country since January 2020, before the pandemic took hold across the world.

Driving the news: President Joko Widodo told Bloomberg News in an interview published Friday that Xi "will come" and Putin "has also told me he will come."

  • "The rivalry of the big countries is indeed worrying," said Widodo, who's popularly known as Jokowi.
  • "What we want for this region is to be stable, peaceful, so that we can build economic growth."

Between the lines: Indonesia's government has faced pressure from Western leaders, including Biden, ahead of its chairing of the Group of 20 meeting of major economies to exclude Putin from the summit due to his forces invading Ukraine.

Yes, but: Indonesia's government has sought to place itself as a mediator on matters concerning both Russia and China.

  • Widodo has in recent months traveled to Moscow and Kyiv to meet with Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, urging an end to the war and pushing to alleviate the world food crisis, per Reuters.
  • Indonesia's Foreign Ministry said earlier this month, after Pelosi's Taiwan visit that triggered Chinese military drills near the self-governing island, "the world currently needs wisdom and responsibility to maintain peace and stability" while stressing that Jakarta respected Beijing's One China principle.

What they're saying: The Kremlin in a statement did not confirm Putin's attendance but said he had discussed with Widodo plans for the G20 during a phone call Thursday.

  • Chinese officials did not immediately comment on Widodo's remarks and Biden administration representatives did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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