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Belt and Road

China and Russia blast protectionism ahead of G-20 summit

Xi and Putin align against 'America First' while jockeying for regional lead

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Bishkek.   © Reuters

BISHKEK/BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin reaffirmed a stance against protectionism at a meeting of a Eurasian body, presenting a united front on trade ahead of an encounter with U.S. President Donald Trump at the Group of 20 summit.

But while they may both oppose Trump's "America first" approach to trade and foreign policy, Beijing and Moscow are struggling to find a balance between their own interests in Central Asia as China extends its influence over former Soviet nations.

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