Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met Chinese President Xi jinping on the sidelines of the ongoing Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Astana.
"PM Narendra Modi meets President of China Xi Jinping on margins of SCO Summit in Astana," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted with pictures of both the leaders.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the Chinese President for supporting India’s membership to SCO.
“Got the opportunity to meet you again during SCO summit, grateful to you for your efforts and support for India's SCO membership,” PM Modi told President Xi.
Got the opportunity to meet you again during SCO summit, grateful to you for your efforts and support for India's SCO membership: PM Modi pic.twitter.com/7aNmEgtqsu— ANI (@ANI_news) June 9, 2017
More details of the meeting are awaited.
It was the first meeting between the two leaders after India skipped the One Belt One Road (OBOR) summit in Beijing last month.
India has consistently raised objections to China’s ambitious OBOR project as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an important component of Belt and Road initiative, passes through Gilgit and Baltistan, a region India maintains is integral to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
During the meeting, the two leaders were supposed to discuss a number of important issues like India’s position on OBOR, China's opposition to India's NSG membership, China renaming six locations in Arunachal Pradesh, Chinese objections over Dalai Lama’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh etc.
The issue of Chinese helicopters violating the Indian air space recently was also on the agenda of the meeting between the two leaders. Calling these violations “unacceptable”, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had said that India will "101 percent" raise this issue with China.
PM Modi and President Jinping were also expected to discuss the fallout of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord. Trump had specifically pointed fingers at China and India while explaining the reasons for his opposition to the Paris accord.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also supposed to raise the issue of China’s continuing opposition to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist in the United Nations. Given the fact that China has repeatedly blocked UN moves to designate JeM chief in the past, PM Modi was expected to request the Chinese President to reconsider its stand on extending support to a dreaded terrorist.
The two leaders are also believed to have discussed the working of SCO as India, along with Pakistan, would be formally admitted into the group during the ongoing summit in Astana.
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.