Chinese President Xi Jinping is preparing to travel to Central Asia and meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in mid-September, The Wall Street Journal said Friday.

Quoting "people familiar with the planning," the business daily reported that Xi may attend the Sept. 15-16 annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in person and meet with Putin there.

The potential move was prompted by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan earlier this month, which was seen in Beijing as an escalation of Western pressure on China, the report said.

If realized, the visit to the Central Asia country would be Xi's first foreign trip since early 2020.

China has reacted harshly to Pelosi's Taiwan visit, holding large-scale military drills near the self-ruled island and suspending imports of agricultural and fisheries products from Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Indonesian President Joko Widodo told Bloomberg on Thursday that Xi and Putin are expected to take part in the summit of the Group of 20 economies, which the Southeast Asian country hosts in Bali in October.3

Combined file photo shows Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Kyodo)