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SCO Summit: PM Modi gives stern message to China, Pakistan

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Addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday gave a stern message to Pakistan and China that also took part in the summit.

PM Modi said that it was unfortunate that there were unnecessary attempts to bring bilateral issues in the SCO agenda, which was in contravention of SCO Charter and Shanghai spirit.

The prime minister also said that member nations should respect each other’s territorial integrity.

PM Modi in his speech said: “India has strong cultural and historical ties with Shanghai Cooperation Organisation countries…India believes that to enhance connectivity it is important that we move forward while respecting one another’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The comments hold significance as China is backing a massive 3,000-km-long infrastructure project, the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC, which connects Kashgar in western China with Gwadar port in Pakistan and passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir or PoK. India has right from the start protested against China’s CPEC push as the corridor passes through PoK.

PM Modi, Xi Jinping took part in SCO summit

It was the first occasion where PM Modi had come face-to-face, albeit virtually, with Chinese President Xi Jinping, since the border standoff between India and China began in eastern Ladakh in early May.

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The SCO summit is being held virtually this year due to travel restrictions and safety concerns in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The summit is likely to be dominated by the adverse economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the rising threat of terrorism.

According to an earlier statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the summit is expected to focus on countering the spread of terrorism including the use of the internet for spreading radicalisation, as also issues relating to trade and economic activities.

Vladimir Putin chairing the SCO summit

Beijing-headquartered Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), seen as a counterweight to NATO, is an eight-member economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations. India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2017.

Russia is the current chair of the SCO and President Vladimir Putin will be chairing the summit meeting which is being held for the first time in virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The summit will culminate with the release of a Moscow declaration which will reflect the broad agenda of the bloc for the next one year.

 

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