Xi and Putin to discuss Ukraine war at SCO summit: Kremlin
The Chinese president Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will discuss the war in Ukraine and other "international and regional issues" at their meeting later this week, the Kremlin says.
The two will meet in Uzbekistan at a summit that will show an "alternative" to the Western world, the Kremlin said.
Mr Xi is making his first trip overseas since the beginning of the pandemic.
He is seeking a historic third term while Mr Putin's relations with the West are at rock bottom over Ukraine.
Mr Xi is beginning his three-day trip in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. He will then meet Mr Putin on Thursday at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Samarkand, which will run from 15-16 September.
Mr Putin will also meet other leaders including those of India, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran - but his meeting with China's leader "is of particular importance," said Kremlin foreign policy spokesman Yuri Ushakov.
He said the summit was taking place "against the background of large-scale political changes".
China and Russia have long sought to position the SCO, founded in 2001 with four ex-Soviet Central Asian nations, as an alternative to Western multilateral groups.
Mr Xi's visit comes amid a fresh set of lockdowns in China, where his zero Covid policy is still in place. While the rest of the world has opened up, learning to live with with the virus, Beijing continues to shut down entire cities and provinces every time there is a spurt in cases.
Mr Xi last left China in January 2020 to visit Myanmar - just days before the first lockdown came into effect in Wuhan. He has remained in China since then, leaving the mainland only once in July this year to visit Hong Kong.