Putin praises Xi over Ukraine, slams US ‘provocations’ on Taiwan

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  • Xi’s first trip since the Covid pandemic
  • Putin praises Xi for Ukraine’s ‘balanced’ stance
  • Putin slams US for provocations on Taiwan
  • Xi and Putin discuss Ukraine and Taiwan

SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin praised China’s Xi Jinping on Thursday for his “balanced” stance on the conflict in Ukraine and the Kremlin leader slammed the United States for provocations toward Taiwan.

In his first trip outside China since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he met Putin in the ancient Uzbek Silk Road city of Samarkand, where they will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.

Speaking in their first face-to-face meeting since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, Putin praised Xi for his stance on the war in Ukraine, but understood Beijing had “questions and concerns” over the conflict.

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China has not condemned Russia’s move against Ukraine or called it an “invasion,” in line with the Kremlin, which calls the war “a special military operation.”

“We highly value the balanced position of our Chinese friends when it comes to the Ukraine crisis,” Putin said. “We understand your questions and concerns on this. During today’s meeting, we will certainly explain our position.”

Putin has openly supported China on the Taiwan issue.

China conducted siege-style military exercises around Taiwan after US Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last month. Taiwan’s government strongly rejects China’s sovereignty claims.

“We want to firmly adhere to the principle of ‘one China’,” Putin said. “We condemn the provocations of the United States and its satellites in the Taiwan Strait.”

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By Olzhas Auyezov and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Raisa Kasolowski, Tomasz Janowski and John Boyle

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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