Modi, Xi to meet in Qingdao

Meeting of the SCO heads of government

Meeting of the SCO heads of government

China is gambling its diplomatic credibility on the chance it can facilitate better relations between India and Pakistan at the SCO summit.

After meeting with the SCO Secretary General, Xi will hold bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping before attending a banquet for SCO leaders.

During their meeting, which came almost six weeks since the Wuhan summit, the two leaders discussed a blueprint for deepening bilateral relationship and reviewed the implementation of decisions they had taken in the central Chinese city.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Qingdao in China on Saturday. Chinese President Xi Jinping has been seeking a bilateral meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, hoping to capitalize on Iranian estrangement from the G7 nations after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.

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Modi also met Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and discussed a range of topics to further strengthen the bilateral ties. India has been asking China to open up its information technology and pharmaceutical sectors to reduce the trade deficit. This will be India's first SCO Summit as a full member.

The Prime Minister's comments at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore were appreciated by China.

The meeting took place on the sidelines of the annual Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, which will explore concrete ways to bolster cooperation in the fight against terrorism, extremism, and radicalisation, besides deliberating on pressing global issues.

The factor of China's snug ties with Pakistan will also be a factor.

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"We are the world's two most populous countries and among the fastest growing major economies. It also means that when nations make worldwide commitments, they must uphold them". Again, the target was apparent - China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Xi will be pushing the BRI at the SCO Summit.

The SCO is a permanent intergovernmental global organisation that focuses on strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states and promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, and making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region.

Korea Joongang Daily quotes Chinese media that in addition to issuing a joint declaration, participants will sign "more than 10 agreements on security, economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges".

The member states also include four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics.

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One goal China might pursue at this year's SCO is establishing deeper ties with Iran, which will attend the summit as an observer.

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