China’s Xi Jinping to visit Central Asia on first post-pandemic foreign trip — Radio Free Asia
Staff, 2022-09-13 11:54:39,
Chinese leader Xi Jinping will head to Central Asia this week on his first trip out of the country since the COVID-19 pandemic, attending the regional Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Uzbekistan, holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting neighboring Kazakhstan.
Xi’s trip is expected to focus on broad strategic concerns in response to the United States’ formation of the Quad alongside Japan, Australia and India in a bid to counter Beijing’s increasingly assertive foreign policy.
Xi and Putin will meet at the eight-member SCO Summit, which also includes Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan, with the president taking the trip at a time when Chinese citizens have been barred from non-essential foreign travel.
It also comes as his ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gears up for its 20th National Congress on Oct. 16, during which Xi is widely expected to secure an unprecedented third term in office following constitutional amendments in 2018.
The last time Xi met Putin at the February 2022 Winter Olympics — shortly before Russian launched its invasion of Ukraine — the two leaders declared a “no limits” friendship that has seen China claim neutrality but decline to criticize the war, amid a large spike in its exports of electronics components and other raw materials to Russia since the war began.
Until now, Xi has taken part in other international engagement via video link, only making the…
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