This is the first summit after India gained full membership of the SCO. PM Modi will put forth India’s Regional and global interests at the multi lateral forum but first on his agenda is a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping.
Within an hour of his touching down in China, the two leaders will meet for the second time in two months. The talks are expected to take forward the ground work done during the informal Wuhan Summit.
Talking of the SCO Summit, India is likely to pitch for concerted regional and global action against terror networks and favour effective connectivity links to boost trade.
The SCO is an inter governmental organisation founded in 2001 comprising Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Russia, Tajikistan Uzbekistan, China and new members India and Pakistan. The new members were inducted in last year’s Astana summit.
The SCO underlines security issues of the region especially on counter terrorism cooperation. Under the RATS (Regional Anti Terror Structure) periodic counter terror exercises take place between the member states. The summit will also take up issues like improving global governance and consolidating multilateral plans to enhance development strategies of the member states, particularly in economic cooperation.
In the run up to the crucial summit, Qingdao has been transformed into a fortress. Highlight of the arrangements this year includes over 2000 Young volunteers from across the city helping the visitors.
Apart from the debut by India and Pakistan, the presence of President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, whose country is an SCO observer, will also be closely watched. This is in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal, creating a crisis in Tehran’s relations with the European Union, China and other countries.