Chinese President Xi Jinping, who leads the world’s largest emitter of carbon emissions responsible for climate change, has not travelled outside of China since the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
Glasgow, UK: Expressing his disappointment over Chinese premier Xi Jinping’s absence from the G20 summit in Rome and COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, US President Joe Biden on Tuesday lashed out at Beijing saying it was a big mistake.
Speaking at his closing press conference at the COP26 Summit, Biden said, “It was a big mistake for China’s President Xi Jinping not to attend COP26. The rest of the world will look to China and ask what value-added are they providing and they have lost in building influence people around the world and all the people here at COP.”
The US President accused the Chinese premiere of walking away from global leadership aspirations by skipping the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
“By showing up we’ve had a profound impact on the way I think the rest of the world is looking at the United States and its leadership role. I think it’s been a big mistake quite frankly for China,” he said.
Xi Jinping, who leads the world’s largest emitter of carbon emissions responsible for climate change, has not travelled outside of China since the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. US officials had earlier expected the leaders of the US and China to meet for the first time as president at this weekend’s G20 summit in Rome.
The two countries, however, instead said they would meet virtually by the end of the year. Biden said no date has been set.
Meanwhile, the US president accused Moscow of failing to show leadership on climate change as Russian President Vladimir Putin also didn’t attend the climate summit.
“His tundra is burning — literally, the tundra is burning. He has serious, serious climate problems, and he is mum on willingness to do anything,” he said.