China's Xi confronts Canada's Trudeau at G20 in heated exchange caught on camera

Canadian Prime Minister accused of leaking details of a private meeting between the men

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Chinese President Xi Jinping confronted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G20 summit, accusing him of leaking details of a private meeting between the men.

“Everything we discussed was leaked to the newspapers. That’s not appropriate and that’s not the way our conversation was conducted, right?” Mr Xi told Mr Trudeau through a translator.

“If you are being sincere, we must communicate with mutual respect.”

Mr Xi also said: “If not, I’m not so sure how it will turn out.” The line was not repeated to Mr Trudeau by the translator.

Mr Trudeau responded by saying the two leaders would disagree on some subjects.

“In Canada, we believe in free and open and frank dialogue, and that is what we will continue to have," he said.

"We will continue to look to work constructively together, but there will be things we will disagree on.”

Mr Xi was dismissive. “Let’s create the conditions first,” he said, before shaking the Canadian Prime Minister’s hand and turning away.

Chinese President President Xi Jinping speaks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. Reuters

The interaction was posted to Twitter by a reporter for CTV National News.

Mr Xi and Mr Trudeau met on Tuesday on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit. After the meeting, a report in Canada’s National Post, quoting a government source, said Mr Trudeau raised “serious concerns” with Mr Xi over allegations of Chinese interference in Canada’s domestic affairs.

Canadian intelligence officials suspect China of meddling in the country’s 2019 election, television network Global News reported this month.

“Canada needs to be able to engage constructively and directly, while at the same time be there to challenge on human rights and values that matter to Canadians,” Mr Trudeau said later on Wednesday.

“Not every conversation is going to be easy.”

It was the first time that Mr Trudeau and Mr Xi had met in more than three years.

Ties between the countries soured after Canada detained Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the US in 2018. Soon after, Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested in China and tried for spying.

The two men were released after Ms Meng was freed last year, although Beijing denied there was a link.

In pictures — President Xi Jinping with world leaders at G20

Updated: November 17, 2022, 7:14 AM
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