Chinese President Xi Jinping has accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of behaving inappropriately by leaking the substance of a conversation between the two leaders to the media.
The accusations came as the pair crossed paths in a public space in Bali, Indonesia, where both leaders are attending the G20 summit.
“Everything we discuss has been leaked to the paper; that’s not appropriate,” Xi told Trudeau through an interpreter.
“That’s not … the way the conversation was conducted. If there is sincerity on your part—” Xi said.
Trudeau interrupted the Chinese leader, telling him that while they have disagreements, they should work together.
“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, and we will have to…” Trudeau said before Xi interrupted.
“Let’s create the conditions first,” Xi said, extending his hand to Trudeau before the pair shook and parted ways.
Trudeau and Xi spoke face to face briefly on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali on Tuesday. After the unofficial meeting, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a readout of the conversation noting the topics that were discussed and who raised them.
According to the readout, during the brief discussion between the two leaders — who have been at odds over trade and the arrest and detention of two Canadians — Trudeau raised concerns about media reports that China covertly funded 11 candidates in the 2019 federal election.
The pair were pictured speaking informally in a crowded room in a photograph released by the Prime Minister’s Office to mark the meeting.