Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and leaders from India and Central Asian nations headed to Uzbekistan on Thursday for a summit of a security group formed by Beijing and Moscow as a counterweight to U.S. influence.
The meeting of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization comes at a time when Putin is isolated abroad following his invasion of Ukraine. Beijing’s relations with Washington, Europe, Japan and India are strained by disputes over technology, security and territory.
The event in the ancient sultanate of Samarkand is part of Xi’s first foreign trip since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic 2 1/2 years ago, underscoring Beijing’s desire to assert itself as a regional power.
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