Beijing’s neutrality on Russia’s war in Ukraine and Moscow’s tilt towards Asia are likely to be on display this week when President Xi Jinping makes his first official visit outside China since the start of COVID-19. Mr Xi will visit Kazakhstan and then Uzbekistan, where he is expected to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. The talks come ahead of China’s Communist Party Congress meeting, where Mr Xi is widely expected to secure a third term in power.
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