India, China ink 2 MoUs, Xi accepts Modi’s invite for informal summit

Pakistan       by Nozair Hanif Mirza | Published

Pakistan by Nozair Hanif Mirza | Published

Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend the meeting.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that China will buy 6.4 million tonnes of rice in 2018, while India will export a total of 11.9 million tonnes.

Xi's visit will be preceded by a flurry of high-level meetings this year, including meetings between the foreign, defence and home ministers and the national security advisers.

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.

PM Narendra Modi kicked off his bilateral engagements at the SCO summit in Qingdao with a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in which both leaders essentially underscored the significance of their Wuhan informal summit in India-China bilateral relationship. The two leaders also stock of the progress in implementing the decisions they had taken at their informal summit in Wuhan in April.

China is willing to work with India to take the Wuhan meeting as a new starting point to continuously enhance political mutual trust and engage in mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, so as to push forward China-India relations in a better, faster and steadier manner, Xi was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency. This was the second meeting between Modi and Xi this year and the 14th in the past four years.

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"Met this year's Shanghai Cooperation Organisation host, President Xi Jinping this evening", Modi tweeted.

They agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and tranquillity along the border and continuing strategic communications on the issue.

"On the Indian side, it will be headed by the external affairs minister (Sushma Swaraj) while on Chinese side, it will be headed by state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi".

China will steadily promote the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) construction, and strengthen bilateral cooperation in areas such as energy and transportation infrastructure under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Trade, investment and development cooperation issues will also feature prominently at the SCO, Murphy said, given the climate of "rising anti-globalization and strains on global multilateral economic institutions", stoked by Trump's nationalist "America First" policy. Significantly for India, China also agreed to renew an agreement which calls for sharing of hydrological data of the Brahmaputra river in flood season (from May 15 to October 15) with India.

The two countries also signed an agreement under which China has agreed to import non-Basmati rice from India which is likely to bridge the ballooning trade deficit to a certain extent.

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