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China’s President Xi Jinping will attend the Group of 20 (G20) leaders’ summit in Rome on Oct. 30-31 via video link, according to a notice from China’s foreign ministry on Friday.

He will make a speech at the summit, the notice said.

Xi has not left China since early 2020, when the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic became clear.

A handful of other key leaders from wealthy G20 nations look set to miss this month’s summit that hosts Italy had hoped would be an in-person event, diplomats and officials previously told Reuters.

U.S. President Joe Biden has confirmed he will attend.

The G20, whose countries account for 80 per cent of global carbon emissions, is considered an important stepping stone before the United Nations COP26 climate summit next week in Scotland.

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