Xi, Putin look to challenge world order at regional summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping looked to rally Asian leaders behind a new “international order” as they met Friday for a summit aimed at challenging Western influence.

But cracks in summit solidarity quickly appeared, with India’s prime minister telling Putin it was “not the time” for the conflict in Ukraine and the forces of two countries — Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan — engaged in fierce border clashes while their leaders were in attendance.

The meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in ex-Soviet Uzbekistan brought Putin and Xi together with the leaders of SCO members India, Pakistan, and four Central Asian nations, as well as the presidents of Iran and Turkey.

Putin and Xi met on Thursday for their first face-to-face talks since Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February, and on the Chinese leader’s first trip abroad since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

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