SCO summit highlights: PM Modi says connectivity with neighbouring nations top priority
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the welcome ceremony of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in China’s Qingdao.
Modi arrived in Qingdao on Saturday to attend the two-day SCO summit. The Prime Minister and Jinping on Saturday held “very substantive” talks during which they agreed to hold the next informal summit in India next year besides resolving to continue efforts to ensure peace and tranquillity along the border.
It is Modi’s second visit to China in little over five weeks. He was in the Chinese city of Wuhan on April 27 and 28 to attend an informal summit with Jinping.
Here are the LIVE updates:
5pm: Modi met Nazarbayev and invited his country to join the International Solar Alliance, an initiative announced in 2015 whose primary objective is to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
“PM Narendra Modi invited Kazakhstan to join the International Solar Alliance and the President of Kazakhstan responded positively,” said Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
3:12pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi departs for India from Qingdao, China: ANI.
2:11pm: Narendra Modi holds a meeting with President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov. He also met President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga.
2:00pm: Xi Jinping suggests to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that China and India should set up a new bilateral trade target of $100 billion by 2020, as Beijing is looking at importing non-Basmati rice as well as sugar to address the huge trade deficit.
1:15pm: Several outcome documents (agreements) were adopted by the council of head of governments of SCO during the summit, says MEA.
“Besides a joint communique, 12 others documents were signed between the member countries. Four other documents were signed between ministries of member countries including one on MSMEs and another on tourism. In total, 22 documents were signed, among them an important one was an appeal to youth against radicalization,” says Madhumita Hazarika Bhagat, joint secretary in MEA.
1:10pm: “PM Narendra Modi invited Kazakhstan to join the International Solar Alliance and the President of Kazakhstan responded positively,” says Ruchi Ghanashyam, secretary (West) in ministry of external affairs.
1:00pm: Ministry of external affairs starts a briefing at SCO Summit.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the heads of state council meeting. He also held bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit,” says Ruchi Ghanashyam, secretary (West), in MEA. “The SCO leaders signed the Qingdao Declaration and agreements on security and economic cooperation during the signing-in ceremony. PM Modi’s priority is terror and connectivity”
12:16pm: Russia President Vladimir Putin says combined purchasing power of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation greater than G7.
12:10pm: Modi holds a meeting with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on the sidelines.
11:51am: “We should reject self-centered, short-sighted and closed-door policies. We should uphold WTO rules and support the multilateral trading system so as to build an open world economy,” Chinese President Xi Jinping says.
He says in the next three years, China will provide 3,000 training opportunities of human resources development for SCO member states to enhance public understanding of and support for the SCO family: PTI.
11:49am: “Presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain is of great historic significance,” says Jinping. “The entry of India and Pakistan into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation would bolster its strength.”
Chinese President calls for the pursuit of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. “We should reject the Cold War mentality and confrontation between blocs and oppose the practices of seeking absolute security of oneself at the expense of the security of other countries, so as to achieve security of all.”
11:45am: Kyrgyzstan will take over rotating presidency of SCO after 2018 summit ends, says Chinese President Xi Jinping.
11:43am: Xi Jinping says: We have had an in-depth exchange of views on major international and regional issues. We have ratified an action plan for implementing the treaty on long term good neighborliness, friendship and cooperation of the SCO member states.
“The members will work together to fight terrorism, extremism, and drug trade,” he adds.
11:33am: China’s Xi Jinping address a joint press conference after the signing-in ceremony.
“Countries are increasingly inter-dependant today... confronted with many common threats and challenges that no one can tackle alone. Only by enhancing solidarity and partnership, will we be able to achieve lasting stability and development,” says Jinping.
“It is important for SCO countries to expand interactions and cooperation.”
11:22am: PM Modi and other leaders attend the signing ceremony of SCO summit: ANI.
10:56am: Iran President Hassan Rouhani says US efforts to impose its policies on others are a threat to all, after Washington last month said it was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and would reimpose economic sanctions.
9:35am: Chinese President Xi Jinping, speaking at a summit of regional security bloc, says the country will offer the equivalent of 30 billion yuan ($4.7 billion) in loans under a framework formed by SCO countries: Reuters.
9:05am: Modi floats the concept of SECURE: ‘S’ for security for citizens, ‘E’ for economic development, ‘C’ for connectivity in the region, ‘U’ for unity, ‘R’ for respect of sovereignty, ‘E’ for environment protection.
9:01am: Modi says Afghanistan is an unfortunate example of effect of terrorism.
“I hope the brave steps towards peace taken by President Ghani will be respected by all in the region,” says PM Narendra Modi at SCO Summit.
9:00am: “We have again reached a stage where physical and digital connectivity is changing the definition of geography. Therefore, connectivity with our neighbourhood and in the SCO region is our priority,” says PM Modi while addressing the plenary session of the summit.
“Foreign tourists from SCO countries coming to India accounts for just 6%. This can be easily doubled. Increasing awareness of our shared cultures can help boost this number.We will organise a SCO food festival and a Buddhist festival in India,” says Modi. “We should together set a goal for the 25th SCO Summit. We should work together as a committee.”
8:55am: PM Narendra Modi addresses the plenary session of SCO summit.
8:40am: Plenary session of SCO Summit 2018 begins in Qingdao. PM Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin also present: ANI.
7:50am: A restricted session is scheduled, which is to be attended by the SCO members only. A plenary session will then take place following a signing ceremony and a joint press conference.
7:30am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Chinese President Xi Jinping at the welcome ceremony of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Qingdao.
*The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation bloc, which experts see as seeking to challenge the Western-led order, is dominated by China and Russia and also includes Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan besides India.
*It was conceived as a platform for resolving border issues and fighting terrorism.