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.
PM Narendra Modi held bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping upon his arrival in Qingdao. Follow LIVE updates below:
China's defence minister to visit Delhi this year
Xi conveyed to the Indian side that China's defence minister and Minister of Public security, who is equivalent to India's Home Minister, will visit New Delhi this year, PTI reported.
'India, China to jointly identify project in capacity building in Afghanistan'
Gokhale also said that India and China have agreed to jointly move forward in identifying a specific project in the area of capacity building in Afghanistan, a move that could upset Pakistan. During the informal summit in Wuhan in April, the two leaders had agreed to undertake a joint India-China economic project in Afghanistan.
Visuals of light and fireworks show at Qingdao International Convention Center
Earlier visuals of light and fireworks show at Qingdao International Convention Center in China's Qingdao. PM Modi, along with leaders of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states, witnessed special event by Chinese artists on sidelines of annual two-day SCO summit. pic.twitter.com/1qewZsnVlS— ANI (@ANI) June 9, 2018
Modi meets Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon
After meeting Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon, Modi said, "Great meeting with President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan. We talked about key sectors of bilateral cooperation. India and Tajikistan are working together in areas such as security, technology and energy. Today’s meeting also focused on ways to further enhance connectivity."
Great meeting with President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan. We talked about key sectors of bilateral cooperation. India and Tajikistan are working together in areas such as security, technology and energy. Today’s meeting also focused on ways to further enhance connectivity. pic.twitter.com/WF37tw06Ts— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 9, 2018
'No talks on Iranian deal'
Gokhale told reporters that no talks on the Iranian deal was held by the PM. On the OBOR initiative, he said India supports all initiatives it is important for one to keep in mind each country's integrity.
Set up of people-to-people mechanism
Gokhale added, "New people to people mechanism will be set up. On the Indian side, it will be headed by the External Affairs of Ministry and on the Chinese side, it'll be headed by the state council and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The first meeting of this mechanism will be held this year."
Xi called bilateral meet 'a new starting point': Gokhale
"It was a substantive meeting, President Xi Jinping began by making a positive assessment of the Wuhan summit. He described it as 'a new starting point' in our bilateral relations. PM Modi described it as 'milestone in our relations," Gokhale said.
Vijay Gokhale addresses the media
While addressing the media, Vijay Gokhale said the PM was satisfied with the meeting he had with the Chinese President.
Press meet on Sino-Indian bilateral talks to be held shortly
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale will shortly hold a press meet on the India-China bilateral meeting that took place on the sidelines of the SCO in Qingdao today.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale to hold a briefing on the India China bilateral meeting that took place on the sidelines of the SCO in Qingdao.@IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/mTGNKTrspv— zeeshan shaikh (@zeeshansahafi) June 9, 2018
President Xi hosts banquet, Modi interacts with other SCO leaders
PM Modi is expected to hold nearly half a dozen bilateral meetings with leaders of other SCO countries. The SCO leaders are also expected to review the situation in the Korean peninsula, Afghanistan and Syria.
On his meeting with President Jinping, PM Modi said the discussion between the two leaders over a range of issues will only add further vigour to the India-China friendship after their informal summit in Wuhan.
Further strengthening the positive momentum in the bilateral relationship generated at the #Wuhan Informal Summit, PM @narendramodi had a warm and forward looking meeting with Chinese President #XiJinping on the sidelines of the SCO Summit. #IndiainSCO #SCOSummit pic.twitter.com/8fOGULpnLS— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) June 9, 2018
Modi, Xi sign two MoUs
During their bilateral meeting, two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were signed between Modi and Jinping - a) sharing of hydrological information of Brahmaputra river by China to India and b) allowing India to export non-Basmati rice to China. Beijing had denied access to the non-basmati rice on grounds that it failed to meet its standards.
Following PM @narendramodi meeting with Chinese President Xi, two MoUs were signed - Sharing hydrological information of Brahmaputra river by China to India& amendment of Protocol on phytosanitary requirements for exporting rice from India to China to include non-Basmati rice pic.twitter.com/a9dg0Lu4pJ— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) June 9, 2018
Talks with SCO general secy extremely productive, tweets Modi
On meeting the SCO general secretary, PM Modi tweeted, "This SCO Summit is special as this is India’s first Summit as a full member. My talks with SCO Secretary-General, Mr. Rashid Alimov were extremely productive. India looks forward to enriching the SCO with its active participation and working closely with other members."
This SCO Summit is special as this is India’s first Summit as a full member. My talks with SCO Secretary-General, Mr. Rashid Alimov were extremely productive. India looks forward to enriching the SCO with its active participation and working closely with other members. pic.twitter.com/NoByhjYKPF— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 9, 2018
Modi, Mirziyoyev discuss wide range of topics
Prime Minister @narendramodi met Shavkat Mirziyoyev President of the Republic of #Uzbekistan on the sidelines of #SCOSummit. The two leaders exchanged views on a range of topics to further strengthen our strategic partnership. #IndiainSCO pic.twitter.com/y0kxPADVU0— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) June 9, 2018
Glimpses from Modi-Xi meeting
Further strengthening the positive momentum in the bilateral relationship generated at the #Wuhan Informal Summit, PM @naredramodi had a warm and forward looking meeting with Chinese President #XiJinping on the sidelines of the SCO Summit. #IndiainSCO #SCOSummit pic.twitter.com/dZ9dZzdNgl— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) June 9, 2018
Modi meets Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev
PM Modi also held a bilateral meeting with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the summit.
PM Narendra Modi met President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and held a bilateral meeting with him on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in China's Qingdao. pic.twitter.com/6Vn0k8M0le— ANI (@ANI) June 9, 2018
Strong relation between India and China can inspire peaceful world: Modi
Before their meeting, Modi and Jinping exchanged a warm handshake and posed for photographs. In his opening remarks, Modi said that strong and stable relations between India and China can inspire a stable and peaceful world. He also recalled his informal summit with Xi in Wuhan.
PM Modi with SCO General Secretary Rashid Alimov
Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in delegation-level talks with other SCO members on the sidelines of the summit. (ANI)
Members to sign Qingdao Declaration: All you need to know
Besides holding talks, the member-nations are expected to sign the Qingdao Declaration to summarize the development experience of the SCO and promote the "Shanghai Spirit" of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations, and pursuit of common development, Xinhuanet reported. The declaration will ratify a five-year outline for the implementation of the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, and approve more than 10 cooperation deals covering areas including security, economy, and people-to-people exchanges.
PM Modi holds bilateral meet with Chinese President Jinping
Weeks after the two leaders held an informal meeting in Wuhan, PM Modi and Chinese President Jinping held a bilateral meeting and took stock of the progress in the implementation of decisions they had taken at their previous meet. The two leaders are expected to explore ways to deepen ties in areas of trade and investment besides reviewing the overall bilateral cooperation.
20,000 volunteers on duty
In the wake of the summit, Qingdao's coastline will be lit up and there will also be a firework display. A large-scale light show is expected to take place, using skyscrapers as the backdrop. As far as security arrangements are concerned, nearly 20,000 volunteers have been deployed at service stations around the city's streets, railway stations and at the airport, Xinhuanet reported.
SCO to observe International Day of Yoga on June 16
Yoga for mind and body! International Day of Yoga will be celebrated at SCO Headquarters in Beijing on 16 June as conveyed by Secretary General SCO Alimov during his meeting. A yoga enthusiast, he is seen striking a yoga pose at a yoga centre during his visit to Delhi last month pic.twitter.com/4YPPgbSpdt— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) June 9, 2018
PM Modi meets SCO General Secretary Rashid Alimov
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met SCO General Secretary Rashid Alimov who told him that "India is contributing greatly to the organisation since it became a full member of SCO in 2017".
On the eve of #SCOSummit, Secretary General, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Rashid Alimov calls on the PM @narendramodi. SCO Secretary General said that India is contributing greatly to the organisation since it became a full member of SCO in 2017. #IndiainSCO pic.twitter.com/aYYeGPYwl0— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) June 9, 2018
'Ni hao Qingdao!'
Ni hao Qingdao! Prime Minister @narendramodi warmly welcomed on his arrival for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in the beautiful port city of Qingdao. India is looking forward to contribute towards a successful outcome from the Summit. #IndiainSCO pic.twitter.com/QhoMY6g2Is— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) June 9, 2018
Rouhani, Putin discuss US' withdrawal from Iranian deal
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed his desire to discuss US' withdrawal from the Iranian deal, with Russian President Putin. While speaking at the start of his today's meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the SCO summit, Rouhani lauded the relationship between Russia and Iran. Iran has an observer status in the SCO and Putin said that Moscow would support the full-fledged Iranian membership.
Rouhani said that the US exit from the nuclear agreement with Iran warrants an "important and serious discussion between our two countries." Rouhani also hailed Russia-Iran cooperation in Syria, saying "our role in the region is quite significant." Russia and Iran have staunchly backed Syrian President Bashar Assad, helping turn the tide of war in his favour.
The chemical attack in Salisbury has sharply escalated Russian-western tensions, and led to London and Moscow expelling each other’s diplomats.
The India-US-Japan-Australia quadrilateral has been revived against the backdrop of Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.
The US has delivered a public rebuke to Pakistan for not cracking down on terrorists, and suspended military assistance it.
Prime Minister Modi has made historic separate visits to Israel and Palestine, completing their de-hyphenation.
After the two-and-a-half-month standoff at Doklam, India and China have attempted to reset relations with an informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in Wuhan.
The US has imposed sanctions on Russia under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which affects Indian defence purchases from its strongest defence partner.
The United States has pulled out of the nuclear deal (or JCPOA) between the P-5+1 and Iran, while the Europeans, Chinese and Russians have stayed on.
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet in Singapore on June 12, the first ever meeting between the leaders of the two countries.
Since India and Pakistan were admitted to the grouping at its summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, last June, world politics has undergone several tectonic shifts, old assumptions have been challenged, and new variables have entered the mix.
Both countries were “observers” at that summit, but India had for the first time expressed interest in joining the SCO, and had been represented at the level of the Prime Minister. One of the diplomats who had then seen value in joining the Eurasian political, economic, and security organisation was Ajay Bisaria, Joint Secretary (Eurasia) in the Ministry of External Affairs — now India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan.
Why SCO matters?
At the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in June 2009, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari a tough message: “I am happy to meet you, but my mandate is to tell you that the territory of Pakistan must not be used for terrorism.”
SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001
The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its members last year.