Five reasons why the SCO summit is important

Leroy Wright
June 9, 2018

'Bilateral trade target of $100 billion by 2020' President Xi Jinping suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the two countries set up a new bilateral trade target of $100 billion by 2020.

Rouhani is set to attend the two-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security bloc led by China and Russian Federation, which begins Saturday.

PM Modi met with Uzbekistan President on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Summit.

The India-China bilateral trade reached $84.44 billion previous year, according to data of the Chinese General Administration of Customs in March.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech during the opening session of China's 19th Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. The leaders are also supposed to focus on the issues of global trade and counterterrorism.

The meeting covered key aspects of the bilateral engagement, reflecting the resolve by the two countries to reset relations and bring back trust in their ties which was hit by the Doklam standoff and several other thorny issues.

Tweeting about Saturday's meeting, China's envoy to India, Luo Zhaohui, said Xi and Modi had discussed the "implementation of Wuhan consensus and drawing (up a) blueprint for future China-India relations".

The meeting is taking place weeks after the two leaders held an informal summit in the central Chinese city of Wuhan during which they exchanged views on solidifying the relationship between the two Asian powers. Under a previous agreement, Beijing is supposed to share the river data, but it stopped past year after the two armies had a 73-day faceoff at Doklam in the eastern sector.

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China's appreciation of what Modi said was conveyed by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during a meeting held on the sidelines of the BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting in South Africa this week.

The two leaders reviewed the full range of bilateral ties, especially ways to boost economic and cultural links between the two countries.

This was the 14th meeting between the two leaders over the past four years.

Rouhani said that the USA exit from the nuclear agreement with Iran warrants an "important and serious discussion between our two countries".

Modi arrived here on Saturday afternoon for a two-day visit to attend the annual SCO Summit.

Though not officially on the agenda, analysts say that one key topic of discussion this year may focus on whether Iran will be allowed to ascend from its position as an SCO observer to become a full member state - a development it has sought since 2008 but has been unable to achieve while subject to United Nations sanctions.

Under two deals signed on the sidelines of the SCO summit on Saturday, China will share hydrological data on the Brahmaputra river and amend certain requirements on Indian exports of rice other than the premium Basmati variety to China, India's foreign ministry spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar, said on Twitter.

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