Meeting in Uzbekistan: China and Russia seek new world order

In the tensions with the USA and the West, Russia and China are looking to close ranks.

Meeting in Uzbekistan: China and Russia seek new world order

In the tensions with the USA and the West, Russia and China are looking to close ranks. Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping wanted to meet in Uzbekistan for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Both leaders arrived in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, to attend the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. The group of eight states, led by China and Russia, have made security and cooperation their priority and want to create an alternative to what they see as a Western-dominated world order.

According to Russian sources, Putin's talks with Xi Jinping will revolve around the Ukraine conflict. Both presidents last met shortly before the start of the war for the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in early February and vowed their "boundless" friendship. Since then, China has backed Russia and portrayed the USA and NATO as the main culprits in the war. Xi Jinping is counting on the partnership with Putin in order to jointly front the growing tensions with rival USA.

Putin also meets Raisi, Modi and Erdogan

For the Russian President, the summit with a total of 15 heads of state and government is important for image reasons. From the Russian point of view, the pictures from the meeting are intended to demonstrate that Russia is not isolated internationally after the invasion of Ukraine. Putin also wanted to meet Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. On Friday, Putin wants to meet with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Putin wants to talk to Erdogan about the implementation of the grain agreement. Turkey is a facilitator in the deal that unlocked Ukraine's seaports after months of a Russian naval blockade. The resumption of Ukrainian grain exports is intended to ease the global food crisis. According to Russian information, however, most of the grain does not go to poor countries, but to Europe. In addition, Moscow complains that the sanctions against the Russian fertilizer and food industry continue, at least indirectly.

Putin gives speech about his vision for the future of the organization

At Friday's meeting of the Council of SCO Heads of State, Putin will deliver a speech about his vision for the future of the organization, Tass news agency reported. In addition to Russia, China, India and Pakistan, the group, which was initially founded in 2001 primarily with a view to fighting terrorism, now also includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The group wants to expand at its summit: Iran, which previously had observer status, will be accepted as the ninth member. The organization is also advising on the admission of Belarus, which like Mongolia has observer status. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey are classified as partner countries. According to Chinese information, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are also hoping for membership.

Xi Jinping is back on the international stage

With his first trip abroad in more than two and a half years, China's head of state is back personally on the international stage. Because of the corona pandemic, Xi Jinping had not left the People's Republic and hardly received any foreign state guests in Beijing either. According to Indonesian information, he also wants to take part in the summit of the major industrial nations (G20) in Bali in November.

While China supports Russia's arguments in the war of aggression against Ukraine, it is also calling on "everyone involved" to cease hostilities. The Chinese side avoids violating international sanctions so as not to become the target of punitive measures itself. Nevertheless, trade between the two countries has increased significantly. Chinese products fill sanctions-related market gaps in Russia. China is also buying more energy since the West boycotted Russian supplies.

India's Prime Minister Modi and Xi Jinping are also scheduled to meet in Samarkand - for the first time since the deadly confrontations between the two sides on the disputed border in the Himalayas in 2020.

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