China's Xi Jinping arrives in Kazakhstan in 1st trip post-Covid
The Chinese president is also expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the SCO summit which will launch on Thursday in Uzbekistan.
In his first trip outside China in over two-and-a-half years, Chinese President Xi Jinping embarked on a three-day visit to Kazakhstan and its neighbor later Uzbekistan in time for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Xi arrived in Nur-Sultan in the afternoon, as reported by the Chinese state outlet Xinhua.
The Chinese president is expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, which will launch on Thursday, in Uzbekistan. Cooperation on political, economic and regional security will be discussed during the summit.
The coming meeting between Xi and Putin will be the first since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine. Beijing, throughout the war, has not supplied Russia with weapons but has criticized West-led sanctions against Moscow. Russia and China have sought stronger cooperation to face the West's sanctions which have been imposed on both countries, with both relying less and less on the US dollar for trade and commerce.
On Tuesday, China's foreign ministry said that Xi will discuss regional and international issues with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and Uzbek leader Shavkat Miziyoyev.
Kazakhstan's ambassador to China, Shakhrat Nuryshev, told CGTN that a series of documents have been prepared for Xi to sign, in addition to an outline that will be provided for the development of ties in the next three decades, and an agreement on economy and trade.
A professor at the department of politics and international relations at Lanzhou University, Zhu Yongbiao, noted that Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan both have supported Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative.
“With the Ukraine war … and potential instability in China’s western region, the SCO and Central Asian countries have become more important in the eyes of China,” he said.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization to help stabilize Kazakhstan
In early January, China revealed that members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are “willing to play a positive role in stabilizing the situation” in Kazakhstan, and that “Safeguarding member states’ and regional stability has always been the principle and mission of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization."
“China and other SCO members are closely watching Kazakhstan’s situation and are willing to play a positive role in stabilizing the situation,” Chinese daily Global Times quoted Wenbin.
Wenbin contended, “China has noticed that Kazakhstan is taking a series of measures to counter terrorism and defend stability. China supports all its efforts in quelling the situation and firmly opposes external forces that incite violence and chaos in the region.
“As its neighbor and permanent comprehensive strategic partner, China is willing to offer all necessary support to Kazakhstan to help it overcome recent difficulties.”