Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in China’s Qingdao to attend the two-day 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, which will be held on June 9 and 10. This is India’s first SCO Summit as a full member where it is likely to pitch for concerted regional and global action against terror networks and favour effective connectivity links to boost trade.
The Prime Minister will also hold bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, apart from interacting with leaders of SCO nations on various subjects.
According to officials, India will pitch for evolving effective ways to deal with the growing challenge of terrorism and enhancing security cooperation among SCO countries. It would also discuss concerns over cross-border terrorism in the final outcome document. 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.
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Ahead of his departure, PM Modi released a statement Friday saying, “I will be visiting Qingdao in China for the annual meeting of the Council of Heads of States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). India enjoys deep friendship and multi-dimensional ties with the Member States of the SCO. On the sidelines of the SCO Summit, I will have the opportunity of meeting and sharing views with several other leaders, including the Heads of States of many SCO Member States.”
Praising the SCO for its support in fighting terrorism, separatism and providing solutions to several issues, PM Modi said, “I am excited to lead the Indian delegation for our first-ever meeting of the Council as a full member. The SCO has a rich agenda for cooperation, ranging from fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism to promoting cooperation in connectivity, commerce, customs, law, health and agriculture; protecting the environment and mitigating disaster risk; and fostering people-to-people relations.”
“In the last one year since India became a full member of the SCO, our interaction with the Organization and its member States has grown considerably in these areas. I believe that the Qingdao Summit will further enrich the SCO agenda, while heralding a new beginning for India’s engagement with the SCO,” he said in the statement.
India became a full member of the China-dominated grouping last year and New Delhi’s entry into it is expected to increase the eight-member group’s heft in regional geopolitics and trade negotiations besides giving it a pan-Asian hue. The eight-member group includes India, Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
Last week, China had welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks in Singapore that the two countries have shown maturity and wisdom in resolving issues and ensuring a peaceful border. Terming the statement as “positive”, China said it “highly appreciated” the “positive remarks” by the Indian leader.