Chinese President Xi Jinping has angrily rebuked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after officials in the latter’s country shared details of a previous meeting, highlighting the frosty relationship between the two leaders.
In a clip recorded by the media pool at the now-concluded G20 summit in Bali, a visibly frustrated Xi pulls the Canadian Prime Minister aside and says it was “not appropriate” for details about a previous conversation between the two leaders to have been shared with media, suggesting Trudeau lacked “sincerity” in his approach, the Guarian reported.
“Everything we discuss has been leaked to the paper, that’s not appropriate,” Xi says to Trudeau through a translator.
“And that’s not the way the conversation was conducted,” he added.
The testy exchange came a day after government sources briefed that during a previous conversation on the margins of the summit, Trudeau had raised “serious concerns” with Xi over China’s increasingly aggressive “interference activities”.
Xi’s irritation on Wednesday was a rare break with his normally carefully scripted public appearances.
“In Canada, we believe in free and open and frank dialogue and that is what we will continue to have,” Trudeau said, interrupting Xi’s translator.
“We will continue to look to work constructively together but there will be things we will disagree on.”
Gesturing with his hands, Xi told Trudeau the two must “create the conditions first”, the Guardian reported.
The pair ended their conversation by shaking hands and leaving in opposite directions, with the Canadian Prime Minister looking chastened from the encounter.
The uncomfortable exchange, and the previous conversation, followed repeated warnings from Trudeau and other officials that China had attempted to undermine Canada’s democracy, said the Guardian report.