Chinese President Xi Jinping has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invite to India for an informal summit next year, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said on Saturday. While addressing the media on the meeting between the leaders of the two Asian giants, Gokhale said India has agreed to open Bank of China’s first branch in Mumbai.
PM Modi met and held bilateral talks with President Jinping, minutes after he landed in China’s Qingdao to attend the two-day 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit earlier in the day. The two leaders discussed and took stock of the progress in the implementation of decisions they had taken during the informal summit in Wuhan last month. They also signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) related to sharing of hydrological information on Brahmaputra and export of non-Basmati rice to China.
Modi also met Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and discussed a range of topics to further strengthen the bilateral ties.
Modi is accompanied by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval. The duo were welcomed by Indian officials after they landed at Qingdao airport. The SCO Summit will be India’s first as a full member since it became the part of the eight-member SCO nations — India, Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan — last year. The member nations are likely to take up regional cooperation against terrorism for discussion. India has been raising the issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in various multilateral forums with an aim to build pressure on Islamabad to dismantle the terror infrastructure operating from that country.