China hosts Pakistan, India for Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit

Pakistan       by Nozair Hanif Mirza | Published

The meeting took place ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit and covered key aspects of the bilateral engagement, reflecting the resolve by the two countries to reset relations and bring back trust in their ties, hit by the Doklam standoff and several other thorny issues.

He also felicitated his Chinese counterpart on the successful conduct of SCO Summit in China. He was in the Chinese city of Wuhan on April 27 and 28 to attend an informal summit with President Xi Jinping.

It is for the first time that the Indian prime minister will be attending the SCO Summit after India along with Pakistan became full-fledged members of the grouping, which has been increasingly seen as a counter to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"For us China and India can play more active role in today's world in promoting multilateralism, against unilateralism, to promote free trade and also cooperation on counterterrorism, extremism and separatism", he said.

Mr. Xi accepted Mr. Modi's invitation for another "informal summit" in India next year and described Wuhan as a "new starting point" in India-China relations. The leaders are also supposed to focus on the issues of global trade and counterterrorism.

"Further strengthening the positive momentum in the bilateral relationship generated at the Wuhan informal summit, Narendra Modi had a warm and forward-looking meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO summit", tweeted Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

Sharing some aspects of the almost 50-minute meeting, the foreign secretary said Xi described the Wuhan summit as a "new starting point" in bilateral relations between the two countries while prime minister called it as a "milestone" in ties which will help in developing mutual understanding and trust.

India is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence. India is likely to pitch for concerted regional and global action against terror networks and favour effective connectivity links to boost trade.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that China will buy 6.4 million tonnes of rice in 2018, while India will export a total of 11.9 million tonnes.

On Friday, PM Modi said he was excited to lead the Indian delegation for the SCO's first-ever meeting with the country as a full member.

"(Modi) also conveyed to President Xi Jinping our readiness to permit the Bank of China to establish a branch office in Mumbai", Gokhale said. Other full members are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan.

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