For the first time in more than two and a half years, China’s head of state is traveling abroad – and is trying to forge alliances against the West together with Russia.
Since China’s head of state, Xi Jinping, first set foot on foreign soil, the political map of the world has changed fundamentally: Russian troops have invaded Ukraine; US politician Nancy Pelosi has visited Taiwan, and in every G7 country without exception, China has lost massive popularity among the population.
Under pressure, Xi Jinping will end his diplomatic hibernation on Wednesday. For the first time since the pandemic, the 69-year-old is leaving the national borders of his homeland: First he is going to neighboring Kazakhstan, where Xi will sign a few bilateral agreements. On Thursday he will then travel on to Uzbekistan and will take part in the summit meeting of the Shanghai Corporation Organization (SCO) where the heads of state from India, Pakistan, Iran and Russia are also expected.
The eyes of the international community are primarily focused on the potential meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which has not yet been confirmed by the Chinese side but is considered very likely. The “borderless” partnership that both heads of state swore to each other just a few weeks before the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine caused deep disappointment, especially within the European Union.