October 20, 2023

IntelBrief: Xi and Putin Meet Against the Backdrop of Conflict in the Middle East

Sergei Guneyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Bottom Line Up Front

  • With the Middle East on the brink of a possible region-wide conflict, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing for the opening of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
  • Putin and Xi met for three hours on the sidelines of the conference, discussing global trade investments, regional cooperation, emerging industries, as well as the current conflict in the Middle East.
  • The Taliban announced intentions to join the Belt and Road Initiative after China last month became the first country to appoint an ambassador to Kabul since the group’s takeover of Afghanistan.
  • As the Israel-Hamas war escalates and threatens to drag in the United States and Iran, the Belt and Road Forum offers Xi an opportunity to portray the CCP as a responsible global player and to craft global governance norms according to the CCP’s vision.