Xi meets Putin on first trip outside China since the start of the pandemic

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Xi Jinping will leave China for the first time in more than two years for a trip this week to Central Asia, where he will meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin, just a month before cementing his place as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao. zedong.

The trip, Xi’s first overseas since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, shows he is confident both in his grip on power as he moves towards a third term in office and in his role as a world leader in a time of renewed great power friction.