fredag 4. februar 2022

Xi Jinping meets Vladimir Putin as tensions grow with west

China’s Xi Jinping is holding his first face-to-face meeting with a world leader in nearly two years on Friday as he hosts Russia’s Vladimir Putin, with the pair drawing closer as tensions grow with the west. Xi has not left China since January 2020, when the country was grappling with its initial Covid-19 outbreak and locked down the central city of Wuhan where the virus was first detected.

He is preparing to meet more than 20 leaders as Beijing kicks off a Winter Olympics it hopes will be a soft-power triumph and shift focus away from a buildup blighted by a diplomatic boycott and Covid fears. Putin’s jet touched down in the Chinese capital on Friday afternoon, state broadcaster CCTV reported. He will meet Xi before their nations release a joint statement reflecting their “common views” on security and other issues, a top Kremlin adviser said at a Wednesday press briefing.

The pair will then attend the Olympic opening ceremony in the evening.