PM Modi meets President Xi in Astana

RSTV Bureau

Amid growing differences between India and China over  China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and India’s NSG membership bid, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Astana on the sidelines of SCO summit.

This is the first meeting between the two leaders after India boycotted the high-profile Belt and Road Forum held here last month in which 29 world leaders took part.

“Got the opportunity to meet you again during SCO summit, grateful to you for your efforts and support for India’s SCO membership,” said PM Modi.

India abstained from the summit to highlight its concerns over the USD 50 billion CPEC which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and passes through Gilgit and Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

After Astana, Modi and Xi are also expected to cross paths at the G20 summit to be held next month in Hamburg, Germany followed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) summit to be held in Xiamen, China in September.

The 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit will formally begin on Friday at Astana in Kazakhstan. He is scheduled to address the summit after making India a member on Friday’s meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the Kazakh capital on June 8 on a two-day visit to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit where India and Pakistan will be inducted as full members of the bloc, in the first ever expansion since its inception in 2001.

The summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is special for India as it would be formally admitted into the China dominated six-nation grouping along with Pakistan.