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In a Contentious G20 Meeting, Foreign Ministers Exchange Jabs About Jabs

General view taken at the start of a G20 foreign and development ministers meeting in Matera, on June 29, 2021. ANGELO CARCONI / ANSA / POOL / AFP

Most of the foreign and development ministers from the Group of 20 gathered in Matera, Italy on Tuesday for the organization’s first in-person meeting since 2019. China and Russia, however, were among the few who were noticeably absent from the forum. 

Although Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended via video link, Russia chose instead to send a deputy minister. Neither gave a reason for their no-show but it wouldn’t be surprising if both countries felt they would be put on the defensive given the contentious position that many of the U.S, European and Asian states have recently taken towards Beijing and Moscow, notably at the G7 summit in Cornwall.

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