Xi to visit India in 2019 for Wuhan-style informal meet

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

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

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that he is "excited to lead the Indian delegation for our first-ever meeting of the Council as a full member", and looks forward to "discussing a wide range of subjects" with other member states.

Its member states also include four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics, Pakistan and India.

The entry of India and Pakistan into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation will strengthen security cooperation in the eight-member grouping, a top Chinese official said ahead of the SCO summit starting in Qingdao city tomorrow. This is the PM's second visit to China in the last 6 weeks.

Noting that China and India have reaped quite a few early-harvest outcomes in implementing the consensus reached at the Wuhan meeting, Xi said the two sides should make persistent efforts to accelerate the implementation, maintain strategic communication, expand economic and trade cooperation, promote people-to-people exchanges and enhance coordination and cooperation on global and regional affairs. Zhou also said he believed India and China had shared concerns on combating terrorism, as well as on promoting free trade and multilateralism, especially as China's relations with Donald Trump's administration faces growing tensions. The decision on rice exports could be a starting point for sale of Indian farm produce and processed products like sugar to China in order to reduce the trade imbalance.

Modi is also said that have acknowledged the Wuhan summit as a "milestone in relationship", one which would help develop mutual understanding and trust and take the relationship forward.

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

Another significant development was that Modi and Xi agreed to identify a project in "capacity building" in Afghanistan on which the two countries can work together. Modi arrived here on Saturday afternoon for a two-day visit to attend the annual SCO Summit.

The SCO is a very influential structure for ensuring security, the Iranian leader said.

"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. "In that context a new people-to-people mechanism will be set up, headed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the Indian side and by State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi". India had said a year ago that China did not stick to an agreement to share hydrological data, or scientific information on the movement and quality of water, for the Brahmaputra. Over the past years, SCO member states have jointly made achievements in deterring terrorist attacks and arresting members of global terrorist organisations, he said.

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