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PM's statement prior to his departure to Qingdao in China

09 June 2018

The seeming upswing in India-China ties is likely to continue at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in the coastal city of Qingdao where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are slated to meet on Saturday.

Russia, Iran and other allies confronting rising tensions with the USA over trade and Washington's withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal will be in attendance.

"Further strengthening the positive momentum in the bilateral relationship generated at the Wuhan informal summit, Narendra Modi had a warm and forward-looking meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO summit", tweeted Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. Founded in 2001, the SCO now comprises eight member states, India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. The US had pulled out of the deal last month, triggering sharp reactions from across the globe.

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The SCO meeting - which also features Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani - comes as the U.S. considers new sanctions on Iran, and immediately before U.S. President Donald Trump's scheduled meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.

During their meeting, which came almost six weeks since the Wuhan summit, the two leaders discussed a blueprint for deepening bilateral relationship and reviewed the implementation of decisions they had taken in the central Chinese city. China is gambling its diplomatic credibility on the chance it can facilitate better relations between India and Pakistan at the SCO summit. 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.

India is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.

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The latter's meeting is supposed to focus on cooperation in various areas and prospects for the development of an economic corridor connecting the three countries. Other full members are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan.

Modi is expected to hold almost half a dozen bilateral meetings with leaders of other SCO countries.

Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain arrived in Qingdao on Friday where he was received by Chinese Vice President Kong Xuanyou. Xi will be pushing the BRI at the SCO Summit.

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PM's statement prior to his departure to Qingdao in China