The meeting, announced Tuesday evening, was to be the first such summit in nearly five years.

Downing Street had said Sunak planned to call for a
Downing Street had said Sunak planned to call for a "frank and constructive relationship" between London and Beijing (Reuters)

A proposed meeting on Wednesday between British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 conference was cancelled as world leaders held emergency meetings following a missile strike on NATO member Poland close to the Ukrainian border.

Although Sunak wanted the meeting to proceed, Downing Street said “movements with timings on both sides” were to blame for its cancellation.

The British prime minister has not had a face-to-face meeting with the Chinese leader since early 2018. 

In January 2018, Theresa May made a three-day business trip to China, and in March 2021, during the Covid pandemic, Boris Johnson spoke with Xi.

READ MORE: G20 leaders 'must end war' between Russia, Ukraine — Indonesia

According to officials, the discussions were aimed to identify areas where the UK and China might begin to make headway, such as on energy security and the climate issue, as well as to persuade Beijing to take a more active role in relation to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Polish foreign ministry said the rocket fell on Przewodow, a village about 6 km (4 miles) from the border with Ukraine, killing two people. 

Russia’s defence ministry denied that any Russian missile had hit Polish territory, describing such reports as “a deliberate provocation aimed at escalating the situation”.

“There is an attempt to provoke a direct military clash between NATO and Russia, with all the consequences for the world,” Dmitry Polyansky, the head of the permanent mission of Russia to the United Nations, said on his Telegram channel.

READ MORE: Erdogan meets with US, France and Saudi Arabia leaders at G20 Summit

Source: TRTWorld and agencies