Xi Jinping's goals on first foreign trip since Covid-19 outbreak

Multiple signals for foreign and domestic audience in his Central Asia visit, not least the message that the ‘anti-American front’ remains strong

Chinese President Xi Jinping will initially be among friends and allies when he travels to Kazakhstan on Sept 14 to attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Uzbekistan. PHOTO: AFP
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Xi Jinping will find the world much changed this week when he sets foot on foreign soil for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic started in Wuhan, central China, in early 2020.

Since the Chinese President all but closed his country's doors in February of that year, Russia has invaded Ukraine and the US has rallied Western nations and democratic allies to counter China's rise.

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