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Xi Removes Mask for Putin But Doesn't Mingle Outside China's Covid Cocoon

  • China’s leader skips mask when meeting Putin in Central Asia
  • Xi used stringent precautions for earlier visit to Hong Kong

President Xi Jinping has taken a cautious approach to relaxing his virus prevention measures in Central Asia this week, as the Chinese leader navigates returning to a world that’s living with the virus after spending nearly 1,000 days at home.

Xi dispensed with a mask when meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and taking photos with leaders such as Mongolian President Khurelsukh Ukhnaa on Thursday.