Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev meets with China s President Xi Jinping in Nur-Sultan on September 14, 2022. AFP
"Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here (in Samarkand) Wednesday evening to pay a state visit to Uzbekistan and attend the 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)," the official Xinhua news agency said.
The SCO, established in 2001 as a political, economic and security organisation to rival Western institutions -- will bring together Xi and Putin, as well as leaders from India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and other ex-Soviet Central Asian countries.
Xi flew to Samarkand from Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan, where he met with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in his first trip overseas since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
There, the Chinese president vowed full support for the Central Asian country, which has been spooked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Kazakhstan is part of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a trillion-dollar push to improve trade links across the globe by building landmark