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Xi Jingping Says Will Support India In Organising SCO Summit Next Year

Xi Jingping said Beijing will support India in hosting the summit next year. (File photo)

New Delhi:

Chinese President Xi Jingping today expressed his good wishes to India on taking over as chairman of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, adding that Beijing will support New Delhi in hosting the summit next year.

At the regional summit in Uzbekistan’s historic city of Samarkand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Xi Xingping came face to face today for the first time since the start of the military standoff in Ladakh in 2020.

While there has been speculation about a possible bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Modi and the Chinese president, the government has neither confirmed nor denied this. “We will keep you fully informed as the schedule of the Prime Minister’s bilateral meetings unfolds,” Foreign Minister Vinay Kwatra said when asked about the meeting. China has also not confirmed a meeting between the two leaders.

The Foreign Ministry has confirmed a one-on-one between Prime Minister Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which they are expected to discuss general trade, as well as the sale of Russian fertilizers and mutual food supplies. Prime Minister Modi will also hold talks with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Prime Minister Modi, who was one of the last leaders to arrive in Samarkand, formally began his participation in the regional summit today, starting with a group photo with Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and leaders of the other member states of the influential group.

Speaking to world leaders, Prime Minister Modi spoke about the need for better connectivity in the regional grouping to bridge the food and energy crisis shortage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

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“The SCO needs to focus on bringing diversified and resilient supply chains…this requires better connectivity and access to transit,” said PM Modi, adding that India supports mutual trust and cooperation among SCO countries.

The Prime Minister said the innovative use of technology is being concentrated in our people-centered development model and India is ready to partner with SCO countries.

“We are working to turn India into a manufacturing center… We support innovation in every sector. Today there are more than 70,000 start-ups and more than 100 unicorns in our country,” he said.

India will host the summit in 2023, which would initiate the process of Iran becoming a full member of the influential grouping of eight countries.

Launched in June 2001 in Shanghai, the SCO has eight full members, including the six founding members, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined as full members in 2017.

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