Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: China’s diplomacy to focus on Central Asia

China on Monday confirmed that President Xi Jinping will leave the mainland for the first time in 32 months for a trip this week to Central Asia where he will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit and meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. Xi last stepped out of China in January, 2020, when he visited Myanmar but has since then remained in the country. Xi’s in-person meetings with leaders of other countries were restricted and he focused instead on virtual diplomacy. Xi is due on a state visit to Kazakhstan on Wednesday, the Chinese foreign ministry announced on Monday, confirming several earlier reports on his impending foreign tour. Xi will then meet Putin, as confirmed by Russian diplomats both in Beijing and in Moscow, at the SCO summit in the city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan. “Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in the city of Samarkand, and pay state visits to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan from September 14 to 16,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, said. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/world/china-diplomacy-in-first-trip-abroad-since-jan-2020-xi-jinping-to-visit-central-asia/ar-AA11Jxmd) Xi’s high-profile visit – he is the only G20 leader not to have travelled abroad since the pandemic – will take place barely a month before the all-important Communist Party of China’s (CPC) twice-a-decade congress.

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