China celebrates unity within Eurasian SCO bloc as G7 struggles with Trump

Meeting of the SCO heads of government

Meeting of the SCO heads of government

Describing the almost hour-long meeting as "substantial" and "forward looking", foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said both leaders made a very positive assessment of developments since they last met in the central city of Wuhan during April 28-29.

The ties between the two neighbouring nuclear powers had nosedived following last year's Doklam standoff as well as due to a number of other issues issues including China blocking India's move to get Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar banned by the United Nations and its opposition to India's bid for the Nuclear Suppliers Group membership. Modi also said that an "Asia of rivalry" will hold the region back while an Asia of cooperation will shape the current century.

"There were some discussion on trade and investment related issues".

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said on Saturday that President Jinping has also accepted PM Modi's invite to India for an informal summit next year, in a move to strengthen the bilateral ties. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend the meeting.

In the wake of Washington's strained ties with Russia, China and Iran, officials said the SCO summit will provide an opportunity for President Xi and his Russian counterpart Putin to reflect on a common vision for the region and present the bloc as a powerful voice to deal with pressing global issues. The two leaders also agreed to continue close coordination and cooperation on all issues of mutual interest.

"On the Indian side, it will be headed by the external affairs minister (Sushma Swaraj) while on Chinese side, it will be headed by state councilor and foreign minister Wang Yi".

Gokhale said Xi referred to the growing popularity of Indian films and not only spoke about the success of the movie Dangal in China, but also mentioned that Baahubali 2 and other Hindi movies had done well in the country.


India signaled in advance of the meeting that it will not compromise its sovereignty by reconsidering its opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, an infrastructure project that would pass through land in Kashmir occupied by Pakistan but claimed by India.

The rice deal should help India finally crack the market in China, the world's biggest buyer of the commodity, traders said.

The agreement enables China to provide hydrological data in flood season from May 15 to October 15 every year.

Under two deals signed on the sidelines of the SCO summit on Saturday, China will share hydrological data on the Brahmaputra river and amend certain requirements on Indian exports of rice other than the premium Basmati variety to China, India's foreign ministry spokesman, Raveesh Kumar, said on Twitter.

India and China have agreed to set up a mechanism to enhance people-to-people exchanges.

The event was opened by Chinese President Xi Jinping in the city of Qingdao.

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