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How Poland’s missile crisis put China on the back-burner at G-20 summit

China and its president, Xi Jinping, have taken a back seat at the ongoing G-20 Summit after Western leaders held emergency meetings to address Tuesday’s missile crisis in Poland.

Xi was, of course, not included in the roundtable meeting that included U.S. President Biden, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, British prime minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron and other top Western leaders. Sunak was even forced to cancel a planned bilateral meeting with Xi due to the crisis, according to The Guardian.

Reports that missile had struck in Poland near its border with Ukraine landed as world leaders were gathered in Bali. Many feared the missile had come from Russia and that the attack may trigger a larger NATO response due to Poland’s membership status. 

Nevertheless, Biden cautioned patience and investigators ultimately found that the missile was not of Russian origin. Instead, the explosion came from a Ukrainian missile designed to shoot down other ordnance. Two Polish citizens were killed in the incident.

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Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said Wednesday that there is an “indication” the missile was a provocation from Russia.

“There is no indication that this was an intentional attack on Poland,” he said. “There are many indications that it was an air defense missile that unfortunately fell on Polish territory.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also confirmed Wednesday that the missile that hit Poland was likely a Ukrainian air defense missile. 

“This is not Ukraine’s fault,” he told reporters. “Russia bears reasonability for what happened yesterday because this is a direct result for the ongoing war.”

“Ukraine has the right to shoot down those missiles that target Ukrainian cities,” he added. 

Russia initially condemned the reaction of European countries as “hysterical,” as some jumped to conclude the missile was of Russian origin. The Kremlin later offered rare praise to the U.S. for its “restrained and much more professional” reaction.

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