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China’s Xi rebukes Trudeau at G20 for leaking informal discussion to media

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, speaks with China's President Xi Jinping at the G20 Leaders' Summit in Bali, Indonesia, November 16, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

Chinese President Xi Jinping rebuked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for leaking details of their closed-door meeting at the G20 summit in Bali, highlighting the frosty relationship between the two leaders.

President Xi on Wednesday accused Trudeau of behaving inappropriately by leaking the substance of a conversation between the two leaders to the media.

“Everything we discussed was leaked to the newspapers. That’s not appropriate and that’s not the way our conversation was conducted, right?” Xi told Trudeau through a translator. “If there is sincerity on your part.”

Trudeau interrupted the Chinese leader, saying while they have disagreements, they should work together. “Let's create the conditions first,” Xi replied.

The remarks are a rare public display of annoyance by the Chinese leader. The accusations came as the pair crossed paths in a public space in Bali, where both are attending the G20 summit.

In video footage published by Canadian broadcasters, Xi and Trudeau can be seen standing close to each other and conversing via a translator.

The duo earlier spoke face to face briefly on the sidelines of the summit on Tuesday. They were pictured speaking informally in a crowded room in a photograph released by the Canadian prime minister's office to mark the meeting. 

After the unofficial meeting, the office issued a readout of the conversation, noting the topics that were discussed and who raised them.

Canadian media said Trudeau raised concerns about media reports that China covertly funded 11 candidates in the 2019 federal election.

The China-Canada relations have soured in recent years over trade and a range of other issues.

More than three years ago, Canadian police acted on a US warrant and arrested Meng Wanzhou while she was changing planes at the Vancouver International Airport.

Since then, the high-profile case involving the Huawei executive's extradition has caused heightened tensions and strained relations between China and Canada and its allies.

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