A video of the two leaders’ brief interaction was captured by reporters on the sidelines of the G20 summit on Nov. 16.
“Everything we discuss has been leaked to the paper; that’s not appropriate,” Xi told Trudeau through an interpreter.
“That’s not how, the way the conversation was conducted. If there is sincerity on your part…” Xi continued, finishing the sentence without translation, saying that “we will proceed with mutual respect, otherwise the result will be hard to say.”
Trudeau interrupted Xi at this time and highlighted the importance of a “free and open” dialogue.
“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,” Trudeau said.
“Let’s create the conditions first,” Xi responded through the interpreter.
The two leaders shook hands after the brief conversation and went separate ways.
Trudeau spoke to Xi on Nov. 15, and his office later said the Prime Minister had raised concerns about China’s increased interference in Canada, including media reports of unofficial Chinese police stations operating in Toronto, as well as reports of China’s meddling in Canada’s 2019 federal election.
The office said the pair had also spoken about North Korea’s missile launches, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the UN summit on biodiversity that China is hosting in Montreal next month.
Isaac Teo and The Canadian Press contributed to this report