Putin and Xi may meet sooner than expected — Analysis

An in-person meeting is being prepared ahead of Xi’s possible trip to the SCO summit in September, WSJ reports

The Wall Street Journal claimed that Xi Jinping of China could fly to Central Asia for a meeting with Vladimir Putin at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) summit in September. Sources familiar with the matter were cited by the Wall Street Journal. 

According to the sources, Xi’s office indicated this week that he could personally attend the summit, due to take place in the Uzbek city of Samarkand on September 15 and 16. It has begun to prepare for possible bilateral meetings between Putin and the heads of India, Pakistan, and Turkey who are expected to also arrive.

Although the Kremlin stated that Putin was going to the SCO summit back in July, the Kremlin has yet to confirm whether he will make it by air or via video link.

The decision to include the trip in Xi’s schedule was allegedly taken after Beijing failed to dissuade US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from visiting Taiwan earlier this month, some of the people who spoke to WSJ claimed. Since the visit was seen by Beijing as a sign Western pressure on China, a trip to Central Asia would underscore the Chinese leader’s intention to counter it by building stronger relationships with countries which are not close allies of the US, they explained. 

Putin and Xi to attend G20 summit – host

This week, Putin denounced Pelosi’s trip as a “brazen demonstration of disrespect towards another country’s sovereignty.”

Putin and Xi’s first face-to-face meeting since the start of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine was expected to take place at the G20 summit in Bali in November, after Indonesian President Joko Widodo confirmed on Friday that both leaders would attend. WSJ reported that Xi might also have his first face-to-face talks with Joe Biden during the Bali summit. 

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a regional security organization that deals also with issues of regional development. It currently includes eight members: China, India and Kazakhstan. As observers members, it also contains Iran and Afghanistan and Turkey is a partner in dialogue.

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