China Holds Shanghai Cooperation Organization Meeting Opposite G7 Summit

'Bilateral trade target of $100 billion by 2020' President Xi Jinping suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the two countries set up a new bilateral trade target of $100 billion by 2020.

In his address at the two-day SCO summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is arriving here tomorrow, 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. PM Modi is scheduled to hold a bilateral summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping apart from holding meetings with various other participating leaders.

The India-China bilateral trade reached $84.44 billion a year ago, according to data of the Chinese General Administration of Customs in March. The leaders are also supposed to focus on the issues of global trade and counterterrorism.

During their meeting, which came almost six weeks since the Wuhan summit, the two leaders discussed a blueprint for deepening bilateral relationship and reviewed the implementation of decisions they had taken in the central Chinese city.

"Our talks will add further vigour to the India-China friendship", Modi said on Twitter, as the two countries try to reset troubled ties months after a border standoff. During his speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 1, Modi had talked about working closely with China and said an "Asia of cooperation" could shape this century. Chinese President Xi Jinping has been seeking a bilateral meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, hoping to capitalize on Iranian estrangement from the G7 nations after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.

During their meeting, the two leaders discussed a blueprint for deepening bilateral relationship and reviewed the implementation of decisions they had taken in the central Chinese city.

China's appreciation of what Modi said was conveyed by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during a meeting held on the sidelines of the BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting in South Africa this week.

Diplomats from several member countries said all these issues may figure at the summit as well as during deliberations on its sidelines.

This was the 14th meeting between the two leaders over the past four years.

Gokhale said Xi referred to the growing popularity of Indian films and not only spoke about the success of the movie Dangal in China, but also mentioned that Baahubali 2 and other Hindi movies had done well in the country. Under a previous agreement, Beijing is supposed to share the river data, but it stopped past year after the two armies had a 73-day faceoff at Doklam in the eastern sector.

At the end of the two-day summit, the leaders are expected to sign a Qingdao Declaration.

The two sides also signed a protocol between the Chinese administration of Customs and Department of Agriculture on phytosanitry requirements that would enable all varieties of rice exports from India to China.

The SCO, launched in 2001 mainly to combat radicalism and other security concerns across Central Asia, added traditional rivals India and Pakistan as members previous year.

  • Rogelio Becker