Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is set to miss this year's ASEAN Regional Forum, after arriving in Moscow earlier Thursday to join a different meeting, according to Hong Kong's Phoenix TV.

Foreign ministers from nearly 30 countries -- including Japan, South Korea, the United States and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations -- are expected to take part in the annual ASEAN gathering, scheduled to take place online on Saturday.

Photo taken in December 2019 shows Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. (Kyodo)

Wang is scheduled to make a trip to four countries including Kazakhstan through Wednesday. In Moscow, he is slated to attend a foreign ministerial meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, while holding talks with his Russian and Indian counterparts.

In recent years, Beijing and Washington have clashed over the disputed South China Sea at the ASEAN regional security gathering.

In Wang's absence China will be represented by Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui at the forum.

The ARF comprises the 10 ASEAN states, China, Japan, the United States, Russia, North and South Korea, India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the European Union, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, East Timor, Mongolia and Sri Lanka.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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