Xi Jinping skips dinner with Putin, citing COVID-19 policy

16 September, 02:43 PM
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin (Photo:Pool via REUTERS)

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin (Photo:Pool via REUTERS)

Chinese President Xi Jinping stayed away from a dinner with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and other leaders during a regional security summit in Samarkand, the Reuters news agency reported on Sept. 16.

The Chinese leader was not in group photos released late on Sept. 15 as the heads of state, including Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, headed to dinner.

An Uzbek government source confirmed Xi Jinping's absence and said the Chinese delegation cited its COVID-19 policy as the reason for the Chinese president’s absence.

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Prior to that. Putin held talks with Xi on Sept. 15, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Uzbekistan.

Among other things, the parties discussed Russia's war against Ukraine and China's claims on Taiwan.

Beijing has not joined the international sanctions regime against the Kremlin for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, opting for neutrality in this matter.

At the same time, Russia and China recently held joint military exercises.

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