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India, China ink 2 MoUs, Xi accepts Modi’s invite for informal summit

10 June 2018

The meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi today would take forward the discussions held during the informal summit between the two leaders in Wuhan, China, in April, said Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale on Friday.

In their 14th meeting in four years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday carried forward the Wuhan spirit and made a decision to strengthen communication between the militaries of the two countries.

Xi's visit will be preceded by a flurry of high-level meetings this year, including meetings between the foreign, defence and home ministers and the national security advisers.

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.

President Xi Jinping appreciated Pakistan for its proactive participation in SCO since becoming a member.

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Noting that only 6 per cent of foreign tourists in India are from SCO countries, the prime minister said this can easily be doubled.

"The Qingdao summit is a new departure point for us".

"I will be visiting Qingdao in China for the annual meeting of the Council of Heads of States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)".

On the bilateral relations, the two leaders highlighted that as all-weather strategic cooperative partners and close friends, Pakistan and China have always stood by each other and would continue to further strengthen this time-tested relationship. The Chinese president said the SCO now stands as a new model for global cooperation. They also discussed regional security situation and global issues.

Asia Times anticipates this year's SCO meeting could be much more successful than the 17 previous outings because relations between Russian Federation and China have improved so dramatically.

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In this context, Xi also referred to growing popularity of Indian films in China and particularly mentioned about films Dangal and Bahubali. The first meeting of the new mechanism would be held this year, Gokhale said. He held bilateral meetings with the Presidents of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

At Qingdao, the PM also met the SCO general secretary, Rashid Alimov, and participated in delegation-level talks with other members of the organisation, on the sidelines of the summit.

Though not officially on the agenda, analysts say that one key topic of discussion this year may focus on whether Iran will be allowed to ascend from its position as an SCO observer to become a full member state - a development it has sought since 2008 but has been unable to achieve while subject to United Nations sanctions.

The first MoU was inked between China's Ministry of Water Resources and India's Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation upon provision of hydrological information of the Brahmaputra river in flood season by China to India.

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India, China ink 2 MoUs, Xi accepts Modi’s invite for informal summit