India enters Shanghai Cooperation Organisation with eye on boosting counter-terror

Meeting of the SCO heads of government

The meeting took place on the sidelines of the annual Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, which will explore concrete ways to bolster cooperation in the fight against terrorism, extremism, and radicalisation, besides deliberating on pressing global issues.

He also felicitated his Chinese counterpart on the successful conduct of SCO Summit in China.

The foreign secretary said one of the important outcomes of Saturday's meeting was that the Chinese side accepted prime minister's invitation to President Xi to come to India for an informal summit next year, similar to the one held by the two leaders in Wuhan on 27-28 April.

Ties between the two neighbours had nosedived following last year's military standoff at Doklam and also due to several other issues, including China blocking a move to sanction Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar at the UN Security council and Beijing's opposition to New Delhi's bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) honor guard march past an airplane of Air India, after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Qingdao Liuting International Airport for the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Qingdao city, Shandong province, China June 9, 2018.

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.

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.

The SCO now has eight member countries.




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.

Prime Minister Modi is also scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping apart from holding meetings with various other participating leaders.

The SCO leaders are also expected to review the situation in the Korean peninsula, Afghanistan and Syria. The numbers have climbed further after the accession of India and Pakistan.

Regional security issues will also feature, because terrorism is the most severe security challenge facing the SCO, according to Liao Jinrong, head of the Chinese ministry of public security's worldwide cooperation department.

Modi is expected to hold almost half a dozen bilateral meetings with leaders of other SCO countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will open late Saturday a two-day regional security summit attended by Russia, Iran and other allies confronting rising tensions with the United States over trade and Washington's withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal.

The SCO was set up by China in 2001 for political, economic and security cooperation amongst Eurasian countries and now includes Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

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