Putin praises Xi over Ukraine, rebukes US “provocations” over Taiwan

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  • Shi is on her first flight since the COVID pandemic
  • Putin praised Xi for Ukraine’s “balanced” stance
  • Putin rebukes US over ‘provocations’ in Taiwan
  • Xi and Putin discuss Ukraine and Taiwan

SAMARKAND (Uzbekistan) Sept 15 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday praised Chinese President Xi Jinping’s stance on the conflict in Ukraine and rebuked the United States for what the Kremlin chief called provocations over Taiwan.

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

Speaking in their first face-to-face meeting since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Putin praised the Chinese leader’s stance on the war in Ukraine, but also said he understood Beijing had “questions and concerns” about the conflict.

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China has refrained from condemning the Russian operation against Ukraine or describing it as an “invasion”, in line with the Kremlin’s position, which describes the war as a “special military operation”.

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

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Putin has openly supported China over Taiwan.

China has held military exercises similar to the blockade around Taiwan after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island last month. The Taiwan government firmly rejects China’s sovereignty claims.

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

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Writing by Olsas Oysoff and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Raisa Kasulowski, Thomas Janowski and John Boyle

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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