Posted BY: Billy | NnwoReport

Chinese leader Xi Jinping refused to attend dinner with Russian President Vladimir Putin and 11 others heads of states at a regional security summit yesterday.

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 Putin and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan, went for dinner.

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

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The snub comes just hours after Putin and Xi met to hail their strategic ties in defiance of the West amid Russia’s widely condemned war in Ukraine and China’s claim on self-governed Taiwan. 

While Russia has fully backed China’s claim to Taiwan, Xi has expressed hesitancy over Putin’s military exploits across the border, something which Putin acknowledged during talks yesterday. 

‘We highly value the balanced position of our Chinese friends when it comes to the Ukraine crisis,’ Putin told Xi.

‘We understand your questions and concern about this. During today’s meeting, we will of course explain our position.’

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