China’s President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks next week on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend.
Russia’s Ambassador in Beijing Andrey Denisov said on Wednesday, “In less than ten days we will have a regular meeting of our SCO leaders in Samarkand, we are getting ready for it. In general, this summit promises to be interesting, because it will be the first full-fledged summit since the pandemic.”
“One way or another, there will be plenary sessions and various kinds of group meetings, and we are planning a serious, full-fledged meeting of our leaders with a detailed agenda, which we are now, in fact, working on with our Chinese partners,” he was quoted as saying by Russia’s TASS news agency.
This will be their first meeting since talks in Beijing in February, which took place shortly before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Both leaders then affirmed a “no limits” relationship.
Xi’s first visit outside China in 3 years
Mr. Xi’s travels to Kazakhstan on September 14, and attendance at the SCO Summit on September 15 and 16, will be his first outside of China in close to three years. The Chinese leader hasn’t left the country since a mid-January 2020 visit to Myanmar, days before the lockdown of Wuhan where the pandemic began.
China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday didn’t confirm Mr. Xi’s travel plans. On Monday, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aibek Smadiyarov said Mr. Xi will meet with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on September 14 and sign a number of agreements.
Modi to meet Putin at SCO summit
Prime Minister Modi will also be present at the SCO summit and is expected to also hold talks with Mr. Putin on the sidelines. Indian and Chinese officials haven’t confirmed whether the two leaders, who haven’t spoken since a November 2019 meeting along the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Brasilia, will hold talks, amid the continuing Line of Actual Control (LAC) stand-off, which began in April 2020.
India has conveyed to China it cannot accept normalcy in ties as long as the situation along the LAC remains disturbed and has called for a return to the status quo and restoration of peace on the boundary.