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Xi confronts Trudeau at G-20, says private conversation was ‘leaked’ to media: ‘Not appropriate’

Chinese Communist Party President Xi Jinping took a stern tone with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G-20 world meeting in Indonesia on Wednesday, complaining of “inappropriate” leaks to the press.

The confrontation followed Canadian government sources’ discussion of the world leaders’ conversation on the sidelines of the G-20 on Tuesday, where Trudeau reportedly voiced “serious concerns” about Chinese attempts to influence the country.

“Everything we discussed has been leaked to the papers. That’s not appropriate,” Xi told Trudeau in an informal conversation at the G-20, according to video shot by a Canadian pool reporter. “And that’s not the way the conversation was conducted.”

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China's President Xi Jinping attends a session during the G-20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Wednesday.

China’s President Xi Jinping attends a session during the G-20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Wednesday.
(Willy Kurniawan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

The pair of leaders were speaking through a translator on the floor of the assembly hall.

Trudeau pushed back at the criticism, telling the Chinese leader, “We believe in free and open and frank dialogue and that is what we will continue to have.”

The prime minister has been outspokenly critical of China’s international politicking, accusing the communist nation of “playing aggressive games” to influence Canadian democracy.

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“We will continue to look to work 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 translator before shaking Trudeau’s hand and leaving the conversation.

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President Biden met with Xi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Indonesia on Monday for the first time in person since Biden took office. Biden raised concerns about Beijing’s “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan,” among other areas of tension, the White House said.

Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, speaks at a news conference in Ottawa, Canada, on Sept. 23, 2022.

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, speaks at a news conference in Ottawa, Canada, on Sept. 23, 2022.
(David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Xi’s visit to Indonesia is his first foreign trip in three years. In a readout of the meeting, the White House said Biden expressed “concerns about PRC practices in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong and human rights more broadly.”

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“On Taiwan, he laid out in detail that our one China policy has not changed, the United States opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side and the world has an interest in the maintenance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” the White House said. “He raised U.S. objections to the PRC’s coercive and increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan, which undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the broader region and jeopardize global prosperity.”

 

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