Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in China's Qingdao for a two-day visit to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, was welcomed today by Chinese President Xi Jinping at official welcome ceremony. This is the first year India is attending the SCO Summit as a full member.
PM Modi and Chinese President Xi held "very substantive" bilateral talks yesterday, during which they agreed to hold the next informal summit in India next year besides resolving to continue efforts to ensure peace and tranquility along the border. The two leaders also decided to set up a new mechanism for people-to-people cooperation to build on the momentum in bilateral ties from their unprecedented informal summit in Wuhan nearly six weeks back.
The meeting took place ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit and covered key aspects of the bilateral engagement, reflecting the resolve by the two countries to reset relations and bring back trust in their ties, hit by the Dokalam standoff and several other thorny issues.
During the summit today, PM Modi is set to join world leaders in key deliberations on several pressing global issues, including the future of the Iran nuclear deal, the impact of US sanctions on Russia and the situation in the Indo-Pacific region.
The SCO currently has eight member countries which represents around 42 per cent of the world's population and 20 per cent of the global GDP.
As it happened:
Watch PM Modi's address at Plennary Session of SCO Summit:
Strategic partnership based on deep civilizational, historical and cultural linkages! PM @narendramodi met the President of #Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga on the sidelines of #SCOSummit in #Qingdao. pic.twitter.com/GXlmykyJCn— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) June 10, 2018
01:12 pm: PM Narendra Modi invited Kazakhstan to join the International Solar Alliance and the President of Kazakhstan responded positively: MEA
12:10 pm: PM Narendra Modi held a meeting with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on the sidelines of SCO Summit
12:05 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain shake hands after signing of agreements between SCO nations
11:50 am: 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 neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation of the SCO member states : Chinese President Xi Jinping
09:05 am: Intervention by PM @narendramodi at the Plenary Session of #SCOSummit: "We have again reached a stage where physical and digital connectivity is changing the definition of geography. Therefore, connectivity with our neighbourhood & in the SCO region is our priority" #IndiainSCO, tweets Raveesh Kumar, MEA Spokesperson
09:00 am: PM Modi redefines S.E.C.U.R.E. as Security of citizens, Economic Development for all, Connectivity in the Region, United people, Respect for sovereignty and integrity and Environmental protection. 'All factors are crucial for a safe and connected SCO', PM Modi tells Plennary Session Read Full story here
08:58 am: Only six per cent of foreign tourists in India are from SCO countries, this can easily be doubled. Increasing awareness of our shared cultures can help boost this number. We will organize a SCO food festival and a Buddhist festival in India: PM Modi
08:57 am: 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: PM Narendra Modi
08:56 am: PM Modi calls for better human-to-human connectivity in the region to promote regional cooperation
08:55 am: Sustainable and transparent connectivity with neighbouring countries is India's priority: PM Modi
08:55 am: PM Modi is addressing the SCO summit.
08:37 am: Plenary session of SCO Summit2018 underway in China's Qingdao. PM Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin also present
08:17 am: PM Modi is attending the the restricted session of the SCO Summit. 'India is committed to extend full cooperation to a successful outcome of the Summit.', tweets Raveesh Kumar
08:06 am: Happy to be part of SCO family! PM @narendramodi joins other SCO leaders for a Group Photo before the #SCOSummit kicks off. A historic moment for India and #SCO as India attends the meeting as full member for the first time, tweets Ravish Kumar, MEA
Happy to be part of SCO family! PM @narendramodi joins other SCO leaders for a Group Photo before the #SCOSummit kicks off. A historic moment for India and #SCO as India attends the meeting as full member for the first time. #IndiaInSCO pic.twitter.com/5VEWdBZgVw— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) June 10, 2018
07:15 am: Besides Modi, other leaders attending the summit include Chinese President Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain.
07:10 am: In his address at the SCO, Modi is likely to articulate India's position on dealing with major challenges facing the world including ways to tackle terrorism, and boosting trade and investment in the region.
07:00 am: It is for the first time the Indian prime minister will be attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit after India along with Pakistan became a full-fledged members of the grouping, jointly dominated by China and Russia, which has been increasingly seen as a counter to NATO.
06:55 am: "The SCO has a rich agenda for cooperation, ranging from fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism to promoting cooperation in connectivity, commerce, customs, law, health and agriculture; protecting the environment and mitigating disaster risk; and fostering people-to-people relations," Modi said in a pre-departure statement. He said since India became a full member of the SCO, its interaction with the bloc and its member countries has grown considerably in these areas.
06:50 am: Diplomats said the summit is also likely to explore ways to deepen cooperation among the SCO member countries in dealing with threats of terrorism, extremism, and radicalisation besides delving into issues relating to trade, investment, and connectivity.
06:45 am: The summit is taking place under the shadow of Washington's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, its sanction regime against Russia and frictions with China over the trade tariff dispute. Diplomats said all these issues may figure at the summit as well as during deliberations on its sidelines.
06:40 am: In the wake of Washington's strained ties with Russia, China and Iran, officials said the SCO summit will provide an opportunity for President Xi and his Russian counterpart Putin to reflect on a common vision for the region and present the bloc as a powerful voice to deal with pressing global issues.
06:35 am:The situation in the Indo-Pacific may figure in the talks but it is unlikely that the issue will find a mention in the SCO outcome document.
06:30 am: Officials said the US pull out from the Iran nuclear deal, Washington's sanctions against Russia under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) may also figure in the talks. The sanctions have impacted Russia's defence cooperation with a number of countries including India.
06:20 am: The SCO leaders are also expected to review the situation in the Korean peninsula, Afghanistan and Syria. Officials said India will pitch for evolving effective ways to deal with the growing challenge of terrorism and enhancing security cooperation among SCO countries.
06:17 am: India is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.
06:15 am: India was an observer at the SCO since 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.
06:10 am: The officials said India is also likely to focus on importance of regional connectivity projects to boost trade among members of the SCO countries.
06:05 am: India has been strongly pushing for connectivity projects like the Chabahar port project and International North-South Transport Corridor to gain access to resource-rich central Asian countries.
06:00 am: The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its members last year.
(With inputs from agencies)