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How China expands its influence through the SCO

Xi Jinping sets the course at the SCO summit in Samarkand.

Those interested in the rise and fall of great powers could observe something astonishing at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan over the weekend – not so much in the official speeches or the agreements signed, but rather in the protocol: When China’s President Xi Jinping arrived at Samarkand airport, President Shavkat Mirsiyoyev was waiting at the runway, waving warmly, accompanied by countless dance groups. Even a pagoda specially erected for the occasion on the runway was passed on the way. The scene was completely different for Vladimir Putin: The Russian president had to be content with the Uzbek prime minister – without folklore or music and even without a handshake.

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