Xi held individual meetings with Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and President Abdel Fatta Al-Sisi of Egypt, Xinhua news agency reported, discussing Belt and Road-related infrastructure investments and cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.
He also told Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov that the two sides should deepen cooperation on supplying natural gas to China.
Xi also met Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, while Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held meetings with Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso, Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob and the director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Kevin Rudd, former prime minister of Australia and president of the Asia Society, described the joint statement issued by Xi and Putin as “highly significant”.
It was “the first time since the Sino-Soviet split that China’s taken a definitive position on European security to support Russia on something as fundamental as NATO”, Rudd wrote on Saturday.
The “no limits” agreement for a strategic partnership included Russian support for China’s opposition to any form of independence for Taiwan, and China’s backing for Russian opposition to further expansion of NATO.
Russia has amassed 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine as it tries to pressure the country into ruling out future NATO membership for the country. Moscow has denied it plans to invade.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry called the timing of the agreement “contemptible”, and added that the Chinese government was bringing shame to the spirit of the Games.