Chinese leader Xi Jinping began his third term with a diplomatic blitz that bolstered his image as a global statesman. Now, he’s set to skip the world’s premier international forum of world leaders — and it’s not exactly clear why.

It could be due to diplomatic sparring with India that Xi is snubbing the Group of 20 meeting in India. Or he wants to bolster the newly expanded BRICS forum. Maybe he wants to stay home to handle China’s economic troubles, with one of the nation’s largest property developers on the brink of default.

Whatever the reason, his absence would mark a major shift in how Xi operates. The Chinese leader has attended every G20 leaders’ summit since taking power in 2012, and he’s also sought to burnish his image as a peacemaker since emerging from three years of COVID-19 isolation at last year’s meeting in Bali, Indonesia. Back then, Xi stressed the importance of dialogue, telling U.S. President Joe Biden it was a statesman’s responsibility to "get along with other countries.”