SCO summit: ‘China’s Xi skips dinner with Putin, allies as Covid precaution’

SAMARKAND: China’s leader Xi Jinping stay away from a dinner attended by 11 heads of state at the delegation’s Covid-19 policy regional security summit, a source in the Uzbek government told Reuters on Friday.
Mr. Xi, who is making his first foreign trip since the start of the pandemic, will attend a meeting between China and Russia this week. Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
However, he was absent from the group photos released late on Thursday as leaders, including the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, went to dinner.
An Uzbekistan government source confirmed Xi’s absence and said the Chinese delegation cited its Covid-19 policy as the reason.
In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Xi, 69, is set to secure a historic third leadership term at the Communist Party congress that begins next month.

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