Visit to Kazakhstan will be Xi's first foreign trip since pandemic began

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Kazakhstan next week. It will be his first foreign trip since the coronavirus pandemic began.

On Monday, a Russian news agency quoted a Kazakh foreign ministry spokesperson as saying that Xi will visit the country for a state visit on September 14.

The spokesperson reportedly said that Xi will hold talks with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and sign a number of bilateral documents regarding cooperation in various sectors.

Xi has not visited a foreign country since the coronavirus began to spread globally in 2020.

There is speculation that Xi may attend a summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The conference will be held in Uzbekistan on September 15 and 16. Uzbekistan neighbors Kazakhstan.

Xi may meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the conference. That would be their first meeting since Russia's military operation in Ukraine started.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a multinational framework led by China and Russia.