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After Two Years of Laying Low, Xi Emerges With a Flurry of Presidential Diplomacy on the Olympic Sidelines

From top left: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Images via Xinhua.

Chinese President Xi Jinping emerged from nearly two years of relative diplomatic isolation on Friday for a flurry of one-on-one meetings with some of the 30 heads of state in town for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

President Xi, who hasn’t left China since the pandemic began in January 2020 and hasn’t received any heads of state during that time, engaged in a series of fast-paced bilateral meetings with visiting leaders mostly from strategically-located Belt and Road countries in Central Asia, Asia, South America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

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