INDIA/CHINA: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will personally meet on Friday for the first time since deadly border conflicts in 2020 soured ties between the Asian rivals.
On Thursday, Modi will go to Samarkand, Uzbekistan, for a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which will also be attended by Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“At the SCO summit, I look forward to exchanging views on current, regional and international issues, expanding the SCO and further deepening multilateral and mutually beneficial cooperation within the organisation,” Modi said in a statement.
He further said several decisions on trade, the economy, culture and tourism were expected to be taken at the summit.
This week, after more than two years of a standoff, Indian and Chinese soldiers disengaged from a spot where they had been engaged in a face-off in eastern Ladakh. Since the start of the crisis, Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi have not communicated.
Vinay Kwatra, the foreign minister of India, said at a news conference on Thursday that Prime Minister Modi would have bilateral meetings outside of the summit but would not confirm a meeting with Xi.
A meeting between the two leaders has not been confirmed by China either.
China, India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan are all permanent members of the SCO.
Putin and Prime Minister Modi will meet bilaterally, as Russia has already confirmed. They will likely discuss trade in general, sales of Russian fertiliser, and shared food supplies.
Kwatra predicted that more general SCO discussions would touch on issues including terrorism, commerce, and regional security.