While the global focus is now on the war between Israel and Hamas, with the Israeli army’s offensive on Gaza and with US leader Joe Biden on his way to the Holy Land, in Beijing They rolled out the red carpet this Tuesday to welcome representatives from more than 130 countries. 10 years have passed since the new Silk Roadformally known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the vast global infrastructure program championed by President Xi Jinping, and the Asian superpower is hosting a major summit to celebrate it.
Many world leaders, especially from countries in the so-called Global South, have been seen in the capital of China. Although the most notable visit has undoubtedly been carried out by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has barely ventured beyond the borders of his country since he launched the invasion of Ukraine.
After a marathon of meetings with other leaders, host Xi entertained his guests with a gala dinner. The long-awaited photo arrived precisely at that moment, at the official dinner reception: Xi and Putin face to face again and posing together. Also in the frame was Peng Liyuanthe wife of the Chinese leader.
The formal bilateral meeting between the Russians and the Chinese, on the sidelines of the summit, is scheduled for Wednesday. It will be a new opportunity to try to give one more push to that “limitless” association that both signed a few weeks before the attack on Kiev. Putin and Xi are expected to advance deals for China to buy more natural gas from Russia.
Before the great banquet held in the People’s Palace, the chamber of Tiananmen, there has been a group photo in which Putin was to the right of Xi. A few hours earlier, the Russian had another important meeting with his closest ally among the leaders of the European UnionHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.