As G7 feuds, Xi and Putin play up their own club

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The leaders of China and Russia Sunday praised the expansion of their regional security bloc at a summit which put on a show of unity in stark contrast to the acrimonious G7 meeting.

President Xi Jinping gave the leaders of Pakistan and India a “special welcome” to their first summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao, since their countries joined the group last year.

Founded in 2001, the SCO also includes the former Central Asian Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, whose country is an observer member, also attended the meeting as he seeks Chinese and Russian support following the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran.

Warning that “unilateralism, trade protectionism and a backlash against globalisation are taking new forms”, Xi spoke up for the “pursuit of cooperation for mutual benefit”.

While never mentioning the United States by name, he added: “We should reject the Cold War mentality and confrontation between blocs, and oppose the practice of seeking absolute security of oneself at the expense of others, so as to obtain security of all.”

Xi, whose government is locked in tough negotiations with the United States to avoid a trade war, said World Trade Organisation rules and the multilateral trading system should be upheld to build an open world economy.

“We should reject self-centred, shortsighted and closed-door policies,” said Xi, whose own country has been accused of restricting broad access by foreign firms to its huge market.

Addressing the SCO leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the addition of Pakistan and India means that the organisation “has become even stronger”.

Rouhani said the US was monitoring the global reaction to its withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and a weak response would encourage it to carry on acting unilaterally.

“This will have many harmful consequences for the global community,” he said.

The Iranian president said his country was ready to cooperate with the SCO against terrorism, extremism and separatism.

Full article: As G7 feuds, Xi and Putin play up their own club (Spacewar)

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