China's head of state and party leader Xi Jinping has arrived in the Uzbek city of Samarkand for the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev greeted him at the airport with a welcome ceremony on Wednesday evening.
In a speech, China's president praised the "comprehensive strategic partnership" between the two states, which he believes is on the right track and not only serves the people of both peoples, but also peace, stability and prosperity in the region, according to the official Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted.
For the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Xi Jinping also wants to meet in Samarkand with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is also taking part in the two-day summit. China gives Putin political backing and portrays the US and NATO as the main culprits in the war.
For the first time since 2019, the SCO summit will be held in person, after being temporarily postponed due to the corona pandemic. Besides China and Russia, the group includes India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.