A planned G20 bilateral meeting between British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President Xi Jinping of China has been canceled due to “scheduling issues.” 

According to The Guardian, the move came after a deadly missile strike on Poland, a NATO member close to its border with Ukraine, resulting in emergency meetings with world leaders.

Reuters reported the meeting between Sunak and Xi was the first British—China meeting for almost five years. Sunak’s office says the prime minister wants a “frank and constructive relationship.”

In the last ten years, relations between London and Beijing have declined. 

Britain expressed concern that inviting Chinese investment could endanger its national security.

London had also criticized Beijing’s trade practices and track record on human rights in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

Before the scheduled meeting, Downing Street issued a statement describing China’s challenges as “systemic” and “long-term.”

It read, “China is a country with fundamentally different values to ours, with an authoritarian leadership intent on reshaping the international order.”

Downing Street stated that Russian missile attacks in Ukraine on November 15 were another example of the “contempt Russia has for the international order.” 

However, it said the details of what happened with the missile in Poland that killed two people were “still being established.”

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