PM Modi meets China’s Xi Jinping ahead of SCO summit in Astana
The Prime Minister will address the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit that formally begins on Friday.
Amid tense diplomatic relations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met China’s President Xi Jinping ahead of the start of the SCO summit at Astana in Kazakhstan on Friday.
Both leaders are meeting for the first time in nearly eight months, and is after India boycotted the high-profile Belt and Road Forum held in Beiing last month in which 29 world leaders took part.
Modi is expected to flag a host of issues that have bedevilled India-China ties, including Beijing’s consistent blocking New Delhi’s efforts to sanction JeM chief Masood Azhar at the UN, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC) that runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
In April, China renamed six places in Arunachal Pradesh days after it protested to the Dalai Lama’s visit to the state.
Despite these contentious issues, officials on both sides expressed some hope that Modi and Xi would at least try to put bilateral ties back on track in the lead-up to the BRICS Summit in Xiamen in September. Among other things, the two leaders are expected to stress the need for regular high-level interactions.
Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif earlier exchanged pleasantries amid frosty bilateral ties, deadlocked talks and escalation of hostilities along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
The PM arrived in the Kazakh capital on Thursday on a two-day visit to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit where India and Pakistan will be inducted as full members of the bloc.
After Astana, Modi and Xi are also expected to cross paths at the G20 summit to be held next month in Hamburg, Germany followed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) summit to be held in Xiamen, China in September.
(With inputs from PTI)