Besides Xi, Putin was also set Thursday to meet Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, then on Friday to hold talks with Indian premier Narendra Modi and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It was not clear who else Xi might meet, although talks with Modi would be their first since 2019. China-India relations turned frosty over deadly fighting in 2020 on their disputed Himalayan border.
Formerly Cold War allies with a tempestuous relationship, China and Russia have drawn closer in recent years as part of what they call a “no-limits” relationship acting as a counterweight to the global dominance of the United States.
Xi and Putin last met in Beijing in early February for the Winter Olympic Games, days before Putin launched the military offensive in Ukraine.
Beijing has not explicitly endorsed Moscow’s military action but has steadily built economic and strategic ties with Russia during the nearly seven-month conflict. Xi has assured China’s support of Russian “sovereignty and security”.
Russia has in turn backed China over Taiwan, calling US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island this summer a “clear provocation”.
The two countries have also stepped up military cooperation in recent years, with China sending hundreds of troops to take part in military exercises last month in Russia’s Far East.
The defense ministry in Moscow said Thursday that Russian and Chinese warships were on a joint patrol in the Pacific and planning a live-fire artillery exercise at sea.
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