Sushma Swaraj meets Xi Jinping ahead of Wuhan summit
The external affairs minister met the Chinese premier a day after India and China announced a summit meeting between Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Wuhan this week.india Updated: Apr 23, 2018 19:00 IST
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday called on Chinese President Xi Jinping, who said China regards boosting the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as one of its diplomatic priorities.
Swaraj called on Xi along with the rest of the seven foreign ministers of SCO.
“China regards boosting the development of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as one of its diplomatic priorities,” Xi said during his meeting with SCO foreign ministers as well as SCO secretary-general, and the director of SCO regional anti-terrorist structure executive committee.
Xi said he believes the upcoming SCO summit in the coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong Province, in June will be a success, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the Qingdao Summit.
Swaraj’s meeting with the Chinese President comes a day after the two countries announced a summit meeting between Xi and Modi at Wuhan this week.
The SCO foreign ministers will meet in Beijing on Tuesday to finalise the agenda for the summit of the eight-member political, economic and security bloc.
Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Sunday announced that Modi and Xi will meet in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on April 27-28 to improve bilateral relations. The SCO, headquartered in Beijing, was founded in 2001.
Comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan, the SCO aims at military cooperation between the member states and involves intelligence sharing, counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia and joint work against cyber terrorism.
India and Pakistan were admitted last year into the organisation in which China plays an influential role.
Swaraj, who is in Beijing on a four-day visit, earlier met Chinese vice-president Wang Qishan, a close associate of Xi.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman will also attend the SCO defence ministers’ meeting in Beijing on Tuesday. She is also due to have a bilateral meeting with her Chinese counterpart Lt. Gen Wei Fenghe.
Swaraj also met her Kyrgyz and Uzbek counterparts and discussed cooperation in a number of key areas including trade and investments. India has ruled out any bilateral meeting with Pakistan’s foreign and defence ministers attending the SCO summit.