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After Wuhan, Modi meets Xi Jinping in Qingdao

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Membership to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will strengthen India’s relations with Central Asia

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 Doklam standoff and several other thorny issues.

India became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2017.

"The first and foremost important consensus reached at Wuhan was that India and China are partners in progress and in economic development", Indian envoy Gautam Bambawale said in an interview to Chinese state media on Friday, the Hindustan Times reported.

On the occasion, President Mamnoon said that Pakistan supported the Chinese chairmanship of SCO and appreciated the various initiatives proposed by China in the organization during the a year ago.

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese president Xi Jinping.

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.

Matters pertaining to bilateral relations between Pakistan and China came under discussion during the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of State meeting.

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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.

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.

India and China on Saturday agreed on measures to build on the consensus achieved by their leaders during recent talks in Wuhan, including the next informal summit to be held in India in 2019 and steps to maintain peace along the disputed border.

The entry of India and Pakistan could pave the way for greater three-way cooperation between India, China and Pakistan, former Chinese Ambassador to India and Pakistan Zhou Gang, told India Today.

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

"(Modi) also conveyed to President Xi Jinping our readiness to permit the Bank of China to establish a branch office in Mumbai", Gokhale said.

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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