Updated: June 9, 2018 9:19:31 pm
Building on the momentum from the informal summit in the Chinese city of Wuhan six weeks ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit.
Of the two bilateral agreements signed at Qingdao, the city in Shandong province on the east coast of India, one would allow India to export non-Basmati rice to China. Beijing had earlier been denying access to non-Basmati rice, claiming that it failed to meet its norms. LIVE UPDATES
India is the world’s largest rice exporter but sends a minuscule amount to China, which imports nearly five million tonnes annually for domestic consumption. China has been stating that rice from India does not meet its “phyto-sanitary” concerns.
The other agreement was on sharing hydrological data on the Brahmaputra. The Brahmaputra originates from Tibet and flows into Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. For India, hydrological data is helpful in preparing for floods in the Northeast. Under a previous agreement, Beijing is supposed to share the river data, but it stopped last year after the two armies had a 73-day faceoff at Doklam in the eastern sector.
The two sides also held discussions on other bilateral issues affecting the two countries.
“Met this year’s SCO host, President Xi Jinping, this evening. We had detailed discussions on bilateral and global issues. Our talks will add further vigour to the India-China friendship,” Modi said in a tweet.
Met this year’s SCO host, President Xi Jinping this evening. We had detailed discussions on bilateral and global issues. Our talks will add further vigour to the India-China friendship. pic.twitter.com/PNVi6fQ3SD
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 9, 2018
The SCO Summit is scheduled to take place on Sunday, with talks expected to focus on terrorism and security.
This is the first time India is participating in the summit as a full-time member of the SCO. India, along with Pakistan, became full-time members during the 2017 summit in Kazakhstan.
Modi is on a two-day visit to China, as part of which he will hold multiple meetings with other SCO leaders.
After the deliberations, the member-countries, including Russia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, are expected to sign the Qingdao Declaration that will contain details for creating significant mechanisms to resist terror activities around the globe.
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