SCO Summit 2019: This will be the first meeting of both leaders after Modi's return to power.
SCO Summit 2019: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today left for Bishkek to participate in the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit where he will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the two day summit from June 13-14. Modi and Jinping are scheduled to meet at around 4 pm on Thursday. A time slot of 45 minutes has been allotted for the meeting between the two leaders.
While this will be the first meeting of both leaders after Modi’s return to power, Modi and Jinping will be meeting again on June 28-29 during the G20 summit. The meeting will also be the first since China shifted its stand on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, resulting in the 26/11 mastermind being listed as a global terrorist by the United Nations.
Both sides are also looking to have an informal summit this year, possibly on the lines of the one held in Wuhan in April last year. While India has already named Varanasi as a possible venue, the meeting is likely to be held on October 11. With both sides set to celebrate 70 years of diplomatic ties next year, China is keen to break the ups and downs as far as bilateral relationship is concerned.
Speaking to Indian Express, a source said that the challenge between the two countries is to break this negative circle and that the relationship between the two Asian giants has to be shaped and not just managed. In the last one year, after the Wuhan meeting, both countries have shown some maturity. The desire to maintain peace along the border is quite clear.
After the Wuhan Summit last year, three senior Chinese ministers at the rank of Vice Premier visited India. The idea is to keep the same momentum going this year, which will likely be discussed during the bilateral meeting between both leaders.
China is eager to show that with the unpredictable US administration under President Trump, the issues related to trade protectionism, anti-globalisation, civilisational conflicts are among the main concerns and China and India share similar concerns. As per reports, a discussion on this issue is likely to be part of the SCO forum, but the Chinese side may raise these issues bilaterally also.
After the SCO summit concludes, Modi will be in Kyrgyzstan a bilateral visit where he is set to inaugurate a business forum. Delegation-level talks between the two countries has also been scheduled.