China’s Xi skips dinner with Putin, allies as COVID precaution: source


Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mongolian President Ukhnaa Khurelsukh pose for a picture during a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 15, 2022. — Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mongolian President Ukhnaa Khurelsukh pose for a picture during a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 15, 2022. — Reuters
  • Xi is attending Summit of China and Russia-led SCO in Samarkand this week.
  • Makes his first foreign trip since beginning of the pandemic.
  • Source says Chinese delegation cited its COVID-19 policy as reason for Xi’s absence.

SAMARKAND: Chinese leader Xi Jinping stayed away from a dinner attended by 11 heads of states at a regional security summit in line with his delegation’s COVID-19 policy, a source in the Uzbek government told Reuters on Friday.

Xi, who is making his first foreign trip since the beginning of the pandemic, is attending a meeting this week of the China- and Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in the Uzbek city of Samarkand.

However, he was absent from group photographs published late on Thursday when the leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan, went for dinner.

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

In Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Xi, 69, is set to secure a historic third leadership term at a Communist Party congress that will begin next month.



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