Xi Jinping missed a key BRICS business forum event on Tuesday, leading China watchers to speculate on whether something was “amiss” with the Chinese President, the Guardian reported. Xi skipped the event, despite the presence of counterparts Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His remarks were delivered by Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, and it was not immediately clear why Xi, who had a meeting with host Ramaphosa earlier in the day, did not attend.
This led some China analysts to suggest the Chinese leader may be “temporarily ill”, with one noting that it was “strange” considering Xi had not made any public appearances for a “long period” this month, the report said. It also cited The China Global South Project, which noted that this was the second mysterious absence by a Chinese official following that involving former foreign minister Qin Gang, who remains ‘missing’ since the BRICS foreign ministers meeting last month.
“To say [Xi’s absence] is extraordinary is an understatement as Chinese leaders never miss highly choreographed events like this,” the report quoted the podcast as saying.
Read the full story: The Guardian.