PM Modi to leave for China tomorrow to attend SCO meet

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday leave for China to attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

To be held in Qingdao, a city in China’s Shandong province, the SCO will focus on security, economy and cultural fronts during its two-day meet. Prime Minister Modi, as per diplomatic sources will pitch for concerted regional and global action against terrorism and effective connectivity links to boost trade.

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 geo-politics and trade negotiations besides giving it a pan-Asian hue.

Hours after his arrival in this central port city, Modi is scheduled to meet SCO Secretary General  Rashid Alimov and  hold a bilateral meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday during which the two leaders are expected to explore ways to deepen ties in areas of trade and investment besides reviewing the overall bilateral cooperation.

The meeting is taking place weeks after the two leaders held an informal summit in central China’s Wuhan city during which they exchanged views on solidifying the relationship between the two Asian powers.

In tomorrow’s meeting, Modi and Xi are likely to take stock of the progress in the implementation of decisions they had taken at the informal summit.

About the SCO summit, officials said India will pitch for evolving effective ways to deal with the growing challenge of terrorism and enhancing security cooperation among SCO countries

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

India was an observer at the SCO since 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region

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.

The officials said India is also likely to focus on importance of regional connectivity projects to boost trade among members of the SCO countries.

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