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About That Moment When Xi Jinping and Justin Trudeau Briefly Talked at G20

China-Canadian relations haven’t exactly been warm and friendly recently. This short Xi-Trudeau encounter made it all the more clear.

Manya Koetse



On November 16, a video showing a noteworthy exchange at the closing sessions of the G20 in Bali between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went viral on Twitter.

Annie Bergeron-Oliver, @AnnieClaireBO, a reporter at the Canadian news outlet CTV National News, posted the video on Twitter at 15:40 China central time on Wednesday. It has since received 8.7 million views.

As person filming walks closer, the conversation caught on video is as follows:

Xi: “报纸上去,不合适啊 [Bàozhǐ shàngqù, bù héshì a].” (“It’s not appropriate to go to the newspaper.”)

Translator: “Everything we discussed has been leaked to the paper, that is not appropriate.”

Xi: “而且我们也不是那样进行的, 对吧 [Érqiě wǒmen yě bùshì nàyàng jìnxíng de, duì ba].” (“And that’s not how we conducted it, is it?”)

Translator: “That’s not the way the conversation was conducted.”

Xi: “如果有诚心,咱们就应互相尊重的态度来进行谈话。否则这个结果就不好说了 [Rúguǒ yǒu chéngxīn, zánmen jiù yīng hùxiāng zūnzhòng de tàidù lái jìnxíng tánhuà. Fǒuzé zhège jiéguǒ jiù bù hǎoshuōle].” (“If you’re sincere, then we should conduct talks with mutual respect, otherwise the outcome is unsure [not easy to say].”)

[Xi Jinping seems to want to start to walk away, body language indicates he is done with this conversation.]

Translator: “If there is sincerity on your part…”

[Trudeau interrupts the translator and starts speaking.]

Trudeau: “In Canada, we believe in free and open and frank dialogue and that is what we will continue to have. I continue to look to work constructively together but there will be things we disagree on, we will have to..”

[Xi Jinping interrupts both Trudeau and the translator.]

Xi: “创造条件. 创造条件 [Chuàngzào tiáojiàn, chuàngzào tiáojiàn].” (“Create the conditions. Create the conditions.”)

Translator: “Let’s create the conditions first.”

Xi: “好 [Hǎo].” (“All right then”).

[Xi shakes Trudeau’s hand and walks off.]

As pointed out by Twitter user @Maoviews, Xi Jinping seems to be saying “很天真 [Hěn tiānzhēn]” when he walks off, meaning “so naive.”

The exchange between Trudeau and Xi is likely related to an earlier informal exchange the leaders had at the sidelines of the G20 on Tuesday, November 15. Although English-language media reported about the informal meeting in a crowded room on Tuesday, mainland Chinese media did not.

Trudeau and Xi talk on the sidelines of the G20 summit on Tuesday.

Western media outlets reported that in the informal conversation, Trudeau supposedly:

– raised concerns over suspected domestic interference by China in Canadian federal elections
– discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with Xi
– spoke about North Korea
– highlighted the importance of the upcoming summit in Montreal regarding climate change
– talked with Xi on the importance of continued dialogue

…and all that within a mere ten minutes!

Relations between Canada and China have not exactly been warm and friendly recently. Last month, Canada’s industry minister François-Philippe Champagne suggested that Canada and the U.S. should want a “decoupling” from ‘rivals’ such as China and other countries that do not share “similar values.”

Earlier this month, the Canadian government ordered several Chinese companies to sell their stakes in three small Canadian lithium miners, arguing that the investments “pose a threat to national security.”

China’s Ministry of Foreign affairs called the move an “unreasonable suppression of Chinese companies” (#外交部回应加方无理打压中国企业#), fuelling more online discussions on Weibo and beyond about Canadian authorities holding on to “anti-Chinese” narratives.

On November 8, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also responded to allegations of China meddling in Canadian elections. “The Chinese side has no interest in Canadian internal politics,” spokesperson Zhao Lijian (赵立坚) said firmly (#外交部回应特鲁多称中方干涉加拿大选举#).

Some on Twitter, including Shanghai Daily reporter Andy Boreham, also linked the brief exchange between Xi and Trudeau to China-Canadian bilateral conversations held regarding Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou.

A story published by the Wall Street Journal on October 27 of this year focused on the “top-secret negotiations” that surrounded the imprisonment of two Canadian citizens in China, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, at a time when Huawei’s CFO and founder’s daughter Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on December 1st of 2018 on suspicion of bank fraud. Meng was accused of helping to disguise Huawei’s business dealings in Iran and violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

But Chinese officials saw her arrest in Canada and possible extradition to the U.S. as an unjust move and Washington power play. The two Canadians arrested in China – just days after Meng’s detainment – were accused of threatening national security and espionage.

The article, titled “Inside the Secret Prisoner Swap that Splintered the U.S. and China,” describes in detail the negotiations between Canada, the U.S., and China, which eventually led to Meng’s return to China and the 2021 release of the two Canadians. The newspaper calls it a major “prisoner swap.”

On Chinese social media platforms Weibo and Douyin (TikTok), the video of the brief talk between Xi and Trudeau was nowhere to be found, but the Douyin autocomplete feature in the search bar clearly showed there is a general interest in the topic: upon filling in “Trudeau” (特鲁多) it suggested: “Trudeau Xi”, “Trudeau not appropriate”, “Trudeau scolded video.”

The Xi-Trudeau video is nowhere to be found on Chinese social media, but the autocomplete function in Douyin search shows the general interest in the incident.

On Chinese search engine Baidu, there were zero search results for Xi meeting Trudeau over the past week.

Meanwhile, various Chinese media accounts did post videos of Trudeau and his informal encounter with UK Prime Minister Sunak. The ‘Weibo World’ (微博天下) account wrote: “They only just arrived and already started drinking” (“刚到刚G20就喝上了”)。

The English-language state media platform Global Times did mention the brief encounter between Trudeau and Xi, writing: “During the welcoming ceremony of the G20 Leaders’ Summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the initiative to approach Chinese President Xi Jinping to chat, the Global Times learned on Wednesday from a source at the scene. But the conversation between the two leaders was very short, the source added.”

Global Times also reported that Trudeau had expressed the hope to have the opportunity to talk with Chinese leader Xi Jinping “about the Korean Peninsula, Ukraine, Canada-China relations, biodiversity and other issues,” and that Xi’s response was that “the key requirement for China-Canada relations is finding a common ground while managing the difference.”

By Manya Koetse 


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Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on Contact at, or follow on Twitter.

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China Food & Drinks

Where to Eat and Drink in Beijing: Yellen’s Picks

From Yunnan classics to fusion cuisine, these are Janet Yellen’s picks for dining and drinking in Beijing.

Manya Koetse



Janet Yellen, the United States Secretary of the Treasury, seems to have some excellent advisors, at least when it comes to choosing spots for food and drinks in Beijing.

Yellen just concluded her second trip to Beijing within a year, and once again, it’s not her official talks but rather her choices in food and drink venues that are sparking discussion on social media.

Her initial visit to Beijing was in July 2023, during which she held meetings with Chinese Premier Li Qiang and other officials.

This time, from April 4th to 9th, Yellen’s agenda included engagements with top Chinese officials in both Guangzhou and Beijing. The primary focus was on addressing ongoing bilateral tensions and managing trade relations between the US and China. In addition to official meetings, Yellen also met up with students and business leaders.

Yellen’s selection of bars and restaurants drew interest online. Yellen is known to be a food enthusiast, and likes to visit local restaurants wherever she goes.

In Guangzhou, Yellen dined at Taotaoju (陶陶居), a renowned Cantonese restaurant where she had roast goose and shrimp dumplings.

If you’re curious about the places she visited in Beijing during her first and second trip, check out our short ‘Yellen’s Beijing’ list below.


‘In & Out’ Yunnan Restaurant

Yellen at Yizuo Yiwang, photos via Weibo.

● Name: ‘In and Out’ in English, Chinese name: Yī Zuò Yī Wàng 一坐一忘

● Specialty: Yunnan cuisine

● Notable: Yellen visited this local favorite near Beijing’s embassy area in the summer of 2023. Among other things, Yellen was served spicy potatoes with mint and stir-fried mushrooms, leading to online jokes about how the food would affect her. The mushroom dish that she had is called jiànshǒuqīng (见手青), which literally means “see hand blue”, in reference to turning blue when handled. It is the lanmaoa asiatica mushroom species that grows in China’s Yunnan region known for its hallucinogenic properties (when treated and cooked properly, they don’t cause hallucinations read more here). After Yellen’s visit, ‘In & Out’ used it as part of their marketing strategy and the restaurant released a special ‘Treasury Menu’ (or ‘God of Wealth’ Menu 财神菜单), promoting themselves as the first place where Yellen had dinner during her Beijing visit.

● Price: Dishes range from 38 yuan ($5) to 298 yuan ($41)

● Address: Chaoyang, Sanlitun Beixiaojie 1 / 朝阳区三里屯北小街1号


Grand Hyatt’s ‘Made in China’

Yellen’s lunch at the Grand Hatt, image via Weibo.

● Name: ‘Made in China’ in English, Chinese name: Cháng’ān Yī Hào 长安壹号餐厅

● Specialty: Northern Chinese cuisine, including Peking duck / Fusion

● Notable: This is the venue where Yellen had lunch with a group of female economists and entrepreneurs in July of 2023 (you can see the speech she gave during lunch here). She apparently likes this restaurant a lot, since she visited it again for dinner on April 8 of this year. For her 2023 lunch, we know that Yellen ordered steamed fish head with chopped pepper (剁椒鱼头). The famous Hunan dish was among the most expensive dishes on a special menu (850 yuan/$117) for Yellen’s visit at the time. This time around, she also had Peking Duck. The award-winning Made in China restaurant, which is simply called “Chang’an no 1” in Chinese (after its address, 长安壹号餐厅), has been around for two decades, and the Beijing head chef Jin Qiang has been there from the start – he has since welcomed numerous heads of state and government leaders from around the world.

● Price: Appetizers start from 58 yuan ($8), seafood dishes around 500 yuan (69 yuan), Peking Duck 388 yuan ($53)

● Address: Grand Hyatt, Dongcheng, 1 East Chang’An Avenue / 东长安街1号东方广场


Lao Chuan Ban

Yellen at Chuan Ban, image via Dianping.

● Name: Chuan Ban, Chinese name: 川办餐厅 aka ‘Lao Chuan Ban’ (Old Chuan Ban 老川办)

● Specialty: Sichuan food

● Notable: Chuan Ban, established as part of the Sichuan provincial government office and open to the public since 1995, is renowned for its authentic Sichuan cuisine. During her visit to Beijing, Yellen and her group dined at this famous restaurant on April 6 this year. They enjoyed a variety of dishes including Mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐), Sichuan-style cold noodles (四川凉面), clear noodles in chili sauce (川北凉粉), smashed cucumber salad (拍黃瓜), and Zhong dumpings in spicy sauce (钟水饺).

● Price:Dumplings for 18 yuan ($2.5), beef noodles for 16 yuan ($2.2), salt and pepper shrimp for 46 yuan ($6.3), fried lamb chops for 188 yuan ($26) – there’s something for everyone in different price ranges.

● Address: Dongcheng, 5 Gongyuan Toutiao, Jianguomennei Dajie / 东城区建国门内贡院头条5号


Jing-A Brewery

Yellen having a beer, image via Weibo.

● Name: Jing-A Brewery, Chinese name: 京A

● Specialty: Craft beer

● Notable: After five days of meetings during her 2024 China visit, Janet Yellen enjoyed a beer together with US ambassador Nicholas Burns at Jing-A, a brewery founded by wo Beijing-based American friends in 2012. In one of her tweets, Yellen explained that the microbrewery imports American hops for their beers — “a small representation of how the U.S.-China bilateral economic relationship can benefit both sides” (link).

● Price:Beers starting at 35 yuan ($4.8), snack dishes starting at 58 yuan ($8)

● Address: Jing-A Brewpub Xingfucun, Chaoyang, 57 Xingfucun Zhong Lu, Chaoyang, Beijing / 朝阳区幸福村中路57号

By Manya Koetse

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China Media

Party Slogan, Weibo Hashtag: “The Next China Will Still Be China”

The “next China” phrase has become part of Party jargon without being clearly defined, leaving it open to various interpretations.

Manya Koetse



After Wang Yi’s remarks during his Two Sessions press conference, the sentence ‘the next China will still be China’ has solidified its place as a new catchphrase in the Communist Party jargon. But what does it actually mean?

Over the past week, the Two Sessions have dominated news topics on Chinese social media. On March 7, a hashtag promoted by Party newspaper People’s Daily became top trending: “Wang Yi Says the Next China Will Still Be China” (#王毅说下一个中国还是中国#).

The hashtag refers to statements made by China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi (王毅), also member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, during a press conference held alongside the Second Session of the 14th National People’s Congress.

In his opening remarks to Chinese and foreign media, Wang emphasized that China’s role in a time of geopolitical unrest and shifting international relations will be one of peacekeeper, pillar, and progressor.

The Wang Yi quote is promoted by ChinaDaily on social media.

Wang’s comment about “next China” was a response to a question about China’s economic development, modernization, and diplomacy strategies. Wang replied that China remains a vital engine of growth. His comment that “the next China is still China” appeared to highlight China’s enduring importance on the world stage despite ongoing changes domestically. Wang mentioned the emergence of new industries, businesses, and increased international engagement as evidence of China’s ongoing evolution.

Wang also warned that “expressing pessimistic views about China will inevitably backfire, and misjudging China will result in missed opportunities” (“唱衰中国必将反噬自身,误判中国就将错失机遇”).

However, he did not elaborate on the specific meaning of his “next China” phrase, which is typical for Communist Party catchphrases and slogans that can often be interpreted in various ways across different contexts.

The “Next China Will Still Be China” Phrase

The phrase “the next China will still be China” has become more prominent in Chinese state media, from Xinhua to CCTV, since November 2023.

President Xi Jinping first introduced it during the San Francisco APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, stating that “China has already become synonymous with the best investment destination; the next ‘China’ is still China” (“中国已经成为最佳投资目的地的代名词,下一个‘中国’,还是中国”). The quote had previously come up in various investment and business communities.

The quote gained further traction when CCTV turned it into a hashtag on Weibo, emphasizing the message of “choosing China is choosing the future (“#下一个中国还是中国#, 选择中国就是选择未来”). It was also used by Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin during one of the regular press conferences.

The slogan was also the central theme of a recent speech held by academic and China expert Martin Jacques for the state media initiated TED-like ‘China Talk’ series. Jacques’ talk, simply titled “The next ‘China’ is still China,” reflects on China’s transformation over the past 75 years from poverty to a global leading economy. Jacques emphasizes China’s unique ‘civilizational roots’ and its different approach to modernization compared to the West, which consists of nation states. He asserts that despite all the major transformations China has seen and is about to see, China’s fundamental characteristics will remain unchanged, rooted in its “civilizational template,” such as the relationship between state and society, the role of the family, and more.

In this speech, promoted by state media over the past two weeks, “the next China is still China” signifies that despite China’s changing role in the world, its core essence, approach, and identity as a civilization remain unchanged. On Weibo, some commenters understand the sentence in a similar way, stressing that China will not betray its roots and turn into “the next America.”

However, in other contexts, the phrase is mostly used with a greater emphasis on the economy.

For instance, in Qiushi/Qs Theory, the Party’s theoretical magazine, the quote was called “an important conclusion,” highlighting “the profound capacity of China’s economy” and echoing the “general consensus of the international community.” The Qiushi publication by Shen Dan (沈丹) uses the exact same words as those employed by Wang Yi, indicating that “China remains the largest engine of global growth” (“中国仍是全球增长的最大引擎”).

While not explicitly stated, the sentence and its context serve to counter popular foreign media headlines suggesting that China’s remarkable economic development has ended and that “India is the next ‘China'” or that “Vietnam is the next ‘China’.” Instead, it suggests that China’s economic miracle will continue.

Various headlines in foreign media.

The phrase carries significant weight in the message it conveys both domestically and internationally. On one hand, it serves as a strategy to push back against negative foreign sentiment regarding China and pessimistic views on the economy. On the other hand, it sends a strong signal to Chinese consumers and businesses, encouraging confidence in the domestic economy and the future of China.

Part of Xi’s Catchphrase Canon

The “next China is still China” catchphrase stands as another slogan representing Party language and can be added to the long list of Xi Jinping’s ‘hot’ phrases (热词).

In January of this year, The Economist noted that the latest Communist Party phrases and slogans set the tone for economic campaigns and even define entire epochs of growth. They commented: “At a time when China’s leaders are attempting to drag the economy from the doldrums, there is even more reason than normal to pay attention to party-speak.”

The article describes how some phrases that come up in Xi’s speeches, especially those stressing China’s important role in the world and the country’s rapid economic growth, become part of Party jargon and are commonly used in local documents as political buzzwords. One well-known example is “Great changes unseen in a century” (“百年未有的大变局”), which entered the Party lexicon in 2017, when then-State Councillor Yang Jiechi described it as a guiding principle of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy.

State media, both in Chinese and English, play a crucial role in propagating these types of popular phrases, incorporating them into various articles, videos, hashtags, and headlines.

But despite its current ubiquity and various ways to understand the “next China” slogan, not all netizens are confident that its meaning holds true. One top comment on Douyin said: “China’s birth rates have already fallen to some of the lowest globally, which doesn’t bode well for the future at all.”

However, others are more optimistic, believing that China will remain true to its essence and that its success cannot be copied thanks to the nature of Chinese people: “Hard-working, brave, energetic – that is what defines the Chinese people and that is what can never be replicated.”

By Manya Koetse

With contributions by Miranda Barnes


Shen Dan 沈丹. 2024. “The Next “China” Is Still China” [下一个“中国”,还是中国]. Qiushi, February 1 [March 11, 2024].

The Economist. 2024. “A Guide to the Chinese Communist Party’s Economic Jargon.” The Economist, January 11 [March 11, 2024].

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