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Putin and Xi meet at Central Asian summit in show of deepening ties

by editor

Ever-closer collaboration between Russia, China and other countries has caused increased concern for NATO and Western powers.


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will soon be meeting in person for the second time in two months as they visit Kazakhstan for a meeting of an international group founded to counter Western alliances.

Putin and Xi last met in May when the Kremlin leader visited Beijing to underscore their close partnership that opposes the US-led democratic order and seeks to promote a more “multipolar” world.

Now, they will be holding meetings as part of the annual session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which the two countries established in 2001 to discuss security concerns in Central Asia and the wider region.

Among its other members are Iran, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The meeting is another chance for Putin and Xi to demonstrate the strong personal ties in their “strategic partnership” as they both face soaring tensions with the West.

Putin wants to show that Russia is not isolated by Western sanctions from the invasion of Ukraine in 2022. An arrest warrant has been issued for him by the International Criminal Court, which accuses him of personal responsibility for the abductions of children from Ukraine. However, Kazakhstan is not party to the Rome Statute, and thus is not obliged to arrest him.

Putin’s meeting with Xi in May showed how China has offered diplomatic support to Moscow and is a top market for its oil and gas. Russia has relied on Beijing as a main source of high-tech imports to keep its military machine running.

The organisation helps China project its influence, especially across Central Asia and the Global South. Xi called for “bridges of communication” between countries last week and wants to further promote China as an alternative to the US and its allies.

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