Chinese President Xi Jinping dressed down Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an uncomfortable exchange on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday.
In the tense dialogue captured on video and later posted on Twitter, Mr. Xi accused the Canadian leader of leaking details of an earlier meeting between the two leaders at the summit.
“Everything we discussed has been leaked to the papers,” Mr. Xi said through a translator. “That’s not appropriate. That’s not the way the conversation was conducted.”
Mr. Trudeau reportedly raised “serious concerns” over Chinese “interference activities” during the bilateral meeting held Tuesday, likely referring to media reports that China had covertly funded 11 candidates in Canada’s federal election in 2019.
The two leaders also discussed the war in Ukraine, North Korea and an upcoming climate summit in Montreal, according to media reports following the meeting.
During Wednesday’s encounter, Mr. Trudeau interrupted the visibly miffed Chinese leader, saying, “We believe in free and open and frank dialogue, and that is what we will continue to have. We will continue to look to work constructively together, but there will be things we will disagree on.”
“Let’s create the conditions first,” Mr. Xi responded.
The two leaders then shook hands and departed separate ways.
Twitter users have not been kind to Mr. Trudeau following the exchange.
“Getting treated like a child by his idol Xi Jinping,” wrote one user.
Another tweeted, “Hard to respect Trudeau. He looks like he is 12 years old.”
• Joseph Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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