Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will attend the G20 summit in Bali in November. Host Indonesian President Joko Widodo told Bloomberg News on Thursday: “Xi Jinping will come. President Putin has also told me he will come.” However, Bloomberg did not initially receive confirmation of travel plans from the official Russian or Chinese side.
Indonesia presides over the group of 20 largest industrialized and emerging countries. President Joko Widodo has faced pressure from Western countries to withdraw his invitation to Putin over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Several states have questioned their participation if Putin attends in person.
Indonesia also invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Trying to mediate between the warring countries, Widodo met with the presidents of Ukraine and Russia. This week, Widodo said both countries had accepted Indonesia as a “bridge of peace”.
Tensions between the US and China have recently increased again due to the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. It was the most important visit from the United States in a quarter of a century. Shortly afterward, another US Congressional delegation traveled to Taipei. Beijing spoke of “provocations”. In response, Beijing initiated large-scale maneuvers around the island democratic republic. Beijing threatens to take over the island, which has a population of 23 million.
Widodo said in the Bloomberg interview that rivalry between major countries is indeed worrying. “We want this region to be stable and peaceful so that we can build economic growth. And I think it’s not just Indonesia: Asian countries want the same thing.” Indonesia is fighting for trade and investment that will boost economic growth, Widodo said, adding that the country does not want to join any particular bloc. “Indonesia wants to be everyone’s friend,” he said. “We don’t have problems with any country.”