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China’s Xi unexpectedly skipped a key BRICS event. No one is saying why

(Qnnflash) – Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s unexpected absence from a business forum of the BRICS economic group in South Africa has raised questions about his nonattendance and its implications. While Xi was scheduled to deliver a speech alongside leaders from India, Brazil, and South Africa, he did not appear at the event, leaving no official explanation from Beijing. Instead, his speech, containing veiled criticisms of the United States, was delivered by Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao.

Xi’s statement addressed the need to prevent a new cold war and criticized a certain country’s attempts to undermine emerging markets and developing nations, without directly mentioning the United States. This event marked Xi as the sole BRICS leader not present at the forum, even as other leaders participated virtually, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The surprising absence of Xi, noted by observers, has prompted speculation about its causes and implications. Some experts suggested that such a no-show is highly unusual, particularly for a Chinese leader attending a multilateral meeting. It could be due to health reasons, urgent matters requiring Xi’s attention, or responses to developments at the summit.

While Xi met with South African President Ramaphosa during his state visit to South Africa and attended other engagements, his absence from the business forum raises questions about Chinese foreign policy. The Chinese state media and diplomats have provided no explanation, and Xi’s nonattendance is likely to remain unexplained.

China’s history of lacking transparency in personnel matters or sensitive issues reinforces the notion that Beijing can be enigmatic. This is exemplified by the recent removal of China’s foreign minister, Qin Gang, without any explanation. Such opacity adds to the challenges of understanding China’s intentions and actions on the international stage.

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