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Xi’s Arrival in Kazakhstan Signals New Phase of Diplomacy

The Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspaper featured a letter by Chinese President Xi Jinping who will arrive on Wednesday for a one-day visit. Image via the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Xi Jinping is back. The Chinese President emerged from nearly three years of diplomatic hibernation on Wednesday when he landed in the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan for a one-day visit ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit that will take place at the end of the week in neighboring Uzbekistan.

Experienced China Watchers are not surprised that the President chose these two countries as his first places to visit, given the high priority that Beijing assigns to countries along its periphery. Also, Central Asia provided the ideal venue for President Xi to meet in person with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin which many observers believed wouldn’t have been politically feasible anywhere else.

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