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Xi Counts Some Diplomatic Wins After Polarizing Winter Games

  • Russia-China statement counters U.S. stance, roils Taiwan
  • Xi held at least 18 bilateral meetings with other leaders
Xi Jinping during the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Xi Jinping during the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Photographer: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

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The Beijing Winter Olympics ended Sunday without a major protest, diplomatic incident, virus debacle or war in Ukraine. For Chinese President Xi Jinping, that’s about as good as could be expected.

A U.S.-led diplomatic boycott had raised the stakes for governments around the world, with attendance framed as a choice between respecting human rights or cozying up to the world’s No. 2 economy. The most-powerful attendee, Russian President Vladimir Putin, added to the drama with a military buildup around Ukraine as Western powers sought to deter a conflict.