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Rare Videos: China’s Xi Jinping gets huge celebration as he lands in foreign nation

Chinese President Xi Jinping waves to deputies at the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. (Lan Hongguang/Xinhua/Sipa USA/TNS)
September 20, 2022

Chinese leader Xi Jinping was met with a celebration as he arrived for a state visit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan last week.

Videos taken from the welcoming ceremony showed a band and a traditional dance troupe performing as Xi landed and he stepped off his plane.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Xie Yongjun touted Xi’s reception in Uzbekistan, tweeting, “This is the most spectacular welcoming ceremony at the airport I’ve ever seen.”

Xi arrived in Uzbekistan on Wednesday, Sept. 14 to attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Thursday and Friday. Leaders of other SCO member nations were also in attendance, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yang Jiechi, the director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CCP) Central Committee, met with outgoing Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov ahead of the SCO summit. During their meeting, Yang hinted at plans to increase cooperation between China and Russia to “safeguard common interests and promote the development of the international order in a more just and reasonable direction.”

As Xi and Putin met in Samarkand at the SCO summit, they discussed a range of topics, including the Russian war in Ukraine and cooperation between their two nations.

Chinese state-run media reported that Xi said China wants increased cooperation between the two nations in “trade, agriculture and interconnectivity.”

According to the Times of Israel, the Russian Kremlin proposed the SCO summit as an alternative to “Western-centric organizations.” The event comes as Russia has faced increased isolation by western nations, with the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies raising sanctions on Russia in response to its Ukraine invasion.

China and the U.S. have also been maneuvering for influence in the Indo-Pacific region in recent years. The U.S. has created new security pacts like AUKUS and has worked to convince nations in the Indo-Pacific to keep the region “free and open.”

Even while Putin and Xi reportedly aimed to use the SCO summit as an alternative of “Western-centric organizations,” there are some potential cracks in the relations among the SCO members.

CNN reported Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was also in attendance criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Modi told Putin “today’s era is not of war” and said they would discuss “how we can move onto the path of peace.”

Xi and Modi did not meet altogether at the SCO summit. Chinese and Indian ties have been strained since their troops were involved in a deadly border brawl in 2020. Indian and U.S. troops are set to hold military drills near India’s border with China in October in a move that could further divide India and China diplomatically.