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Putin, Xi Vie for Influence at Central Asian Summit

Russia's President Vladimir Putin meets with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states leaders' summit in Astana on July 3, 2024. Sergei SAVOSTYANOV / POOL / AFP

The leaders of Russia and China were in Kazakhstan on Wednesday for a regional summit, seeking to harden anti-Western alliances and press their influence in the strategic Central Asian region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin touched down in the Kazakh capital of Astana Wednesday morning for a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) — a Beijing-led regional bloc that covers Central Asia, India, and Iran.

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