WORLD NEWS

Putin and Xi plan to meet again, as relations with West fray

Sep 7, 2022, 12:53 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, attend the Tsinghu...
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, attend the Tsinghua Universitys ceremony, at Friendship Palace on April 26, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kenzaburo Fukuhara - Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kenzaburo Fukuhara - Pool/Getty Images)

(AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet next week in Uzbekistan for talks that could signal warming relations between two powers that are increasingly facing off against the West.

The meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization — a political, economic and security forum that China and Russia dominate — comes at delicate times for both leaders, and it would be their second face-to-face meeting this year.

Putin is dealing with the economic and political fallout of his war in Ukraine that has left Russia more isolated — and defiant. Xi faces rising tensions with the West over the status of Taiwan and China’s treatment of Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups.

Russia’s ambassador to China told reporters Wednesday that the two would meet in the Uzbek city of Samarkand on Sept. 15-16. Then Putin confirmed it himself, telling top Chinese legislator Li Zhanshu at an economic forum in Russia that “we will see each other with President Xi Jinping soon, I hope, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.”

The visit to Uzbekistan, if it goes ahead, would be part of Xi’s first foreign trip in 2½ years. Xi has only left mainland China once — to make a one-day visit to the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong — since the COVID-19 outbreak exploded in early 2020.

When asked about the trip at a daily briefing, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said: “On your question, I have nothing to offer.”

Russia and China have increasingly aligned their foreign policies to oppose liberal democratic forces in Asia, Europe, and beyond, making a stand for authoritarian rule with tight borders and little regard for free speech, minority rights, or opposition politics.

The Russian military held sweeping military drills that ended Wednesday in the country’s east that involved forces from China, another show of increasingly close ties between the two. And on Tuesday, the Pentagon said the Russian Ministry of Defense was in the process of purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea, a close ally of China, for its ongoing fight in Ukraine.

Experts say the Russian and Chinese leaders may be hoping that another meeting with each other will help bolster their standing at home and abroad.

For Putin, it’s an opportunity to show that he still has powerful allies, said Alexander Gabuev, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “How can you isolate Russia, when China stands back to back with it?” Gabuev said.

For Xi, it could be a chance to be seen as standing up to Western opposition to the Ukraine war and burnish his nationalist credentials at a time when relations with the U.S. have grown increasingly tense over trade, technology, human rights issues, and its threats to attack Taiwan.

“It is a very important signal that China will not give in to the pressure of countries that are trying to make Putin and Russia a pariah country,” Gabuev said.

Coming just ahead of China’s party congress, the overseas visits would also show Xi as confident of his position. Xi is seeking a third five-year term as Communist Party leader. While he’s expected to secure it, that would represent a break with precedent.

Putin and Xi last met at the Olympics in Beijing in February, weeks before the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine. The two presidents oversaw the signing of an agreement pledging that relations between the sides would have “no limits.” It remains unclear whether Xi knew at the time of Russia’s plans to invade Ukraine.

While offering its tacit support for Russia’s campaign there, China has sought to appear neutral and avoid possible repercussions from supporting the Russian economy amid international sanctions.

Even though Moscow and Beijing in the past rejected the possibility of forging a military alliance, Putin has said that such a prospect can’t be ruled out. He also has noted that Russia has been sharing highly sensitive military technologies with China that helped significantly bolster its defense capability.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

World News

FILE: SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JULY 25:  Vladimir Putin, President of Russia speaks during the Pr...
Joshua Berlinger and Olga Voitovych, CNN

Ukraine is hitting Russia hard in the regions Moscow is trying to seize

Vladimir Putin sought to finalize the formalities of its claim to four Ukrainian regions, none of which are fully controlled by Russia anymore.
20 hours ago
An aerial view of destroyed buildings on Oct. 3, 2022, in Izium, Ukraine. Izium is still without el...
Adam Schreck and Vasilisa Stepanenko, Associated Press

Russian losses evident in key liberated Ukrainian city

The bodies of Russian soldiers are lying in the streets of a key city in eastern Ukraine following their comrades' retreat that has marked the latest defeat for Moscow.
20 hours ago
FILE: North Koraen Leader Kim Jong Un (Photo by Korea Summit Press Pool/Getty Images)...
Yoonjung Seo, Emiko Jozuka, Brad Lendon and Simone McCarthy, CNN

North Korea launches missile over Japan, sending residents to shelter

Japan urged residents to take shelter early Tuesday morning after North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile over the north of the country.
2 days ago
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury during the first half in Game Four of the 2021 WNBA semi...
VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press

Russian court sets Brittney Griner appeal date for Oct. 25

A Russian court has set a date for American basketball star Brittney Griner’s appeal against her nine-year prison sentence for drug possession.
2 days ago
FILE: Ukrainian tank crew trains with infantry near Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine. (Photo by John ...
Jon Gambrell, Associated Press

Ukrainian troops claim gains in Russia-annexed region

Ukrainian troops pushed forward with their offensive that has embarrassed Moscow, with Kyiv officials and foreign observers hinting at new gains in the southern strategic region of Kherson.
2 days ago
Arema football club supporters light candles as they pray for the victims on October 02, 2022 in Ma...
Masrur Jamaluddin, Heather Chen, Raja Razek, Jake Kwon and Kareem El Damanhoury, CNN

At least 130 killed in Indonesia soccer stadium stampede

Arema football club supporters light candles as they pray for the victims on October 02, 2022 in Malang, Indonesia. A stampede for the exits after tear gas was released has resulted in at least 170, media reports said, with many still injured in hospitals.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Putin and Xi plan to meet again, as relations with West fray