Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrived in China on Monday to attend a preparatory meeting related to upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). During her visit, Sitharaman is likely to meet a number of Chinese leaders. She will attend the SCO defence ministers’ meeting on Tuesday.
The annual summit of the SCO, in which India is the latest entrant along with Pakistan, will take place in the Chinese city of Qingdao in June. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend it. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is already at Beijing on a four-day visit here to attend the SCO Foreign Ministers meeting to finalise the agenda for the summit of the eight-member political, economic and security bloc.
The SCO, headquartered in Beijing, was founded in 2001. Comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan, the SCO aims at military cooperation between the member states and involves intelligence sharing, counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia and joint work against cyber terrorism.