With a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping scheduled on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit this week, China Monday hoped that the two leaders would discuss their respective trade frictions with the US and the two “good friends” could reach a consensus on opposing “trade protectionism”.
The meeting between Xi and Modi at the SCO summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on June 13-14 was confirmed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)’s secretary (west) A Gitesh Sarma. Modi will also meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the summit.
At a media briefing in Beijing, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui said: “While the details for the meeting are under discussion, I believe every bilateral meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi is very important. From the Chinese side, we will make good perpetrations for the success of bilateral meeting.”
He said the China-US trade war and the “spectre” of emerging trade frictions between the US and India could become an important part of the discussions between the two leaders.
“Whether they will talk about trade frictions between China and the US and the spectre of trade frictions between the US and India, such things are not surprising. I believe this could become an important topic in his bilateral meetings with the related leaders,” he said.
“Trade protectionism and unilateralism are very much on the rise. How to respond to the bullying practices of the US, its practice of trade protectionism, this is an important question not only to China, but also has direct bearing on the recovery of the global economy,” said Zhang.
“So I would say it will be helpful if the two leaders could exchange views and we hope their communication will lead to extensive consensus on upholding justice and opposing trade protectionism…I hope with their cooperation, the two countries will not only enhance bilateral trade but also play an important role in promoting the global economy.”
At the SCO summit, Modi is expected to articulate India’s position on dealing with major challenges facing the region including the rising threat of terrorism. It will be the first multilateral meeting in which Modi will participate after retaining power for the secon consecutive term.
The leaders participating at the summit in the Kyrgyz Republic are expected to focus on the global security situation, multilateral economic cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and also on topical issues of international and regional importance, Sarma said in Delhi.
Sarma said India is expected to raise the issue of terrorism at the summit but will not talk about any specific country, adding that India is also likely to focus on importance of regional connectivity projects to boost trade among members of the SCO countries.