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Xi backs India to host SCO Summit

India will host the summit in 2023, which would initiate the process of Iran becoming a full member of the eight-nation influential grouping…reports Asian Lite News

Chinese President Xi Jingping today extended his good wishes to India on taking over the chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, adding that Beijing will support New Delhi in organising the summit next year.

India will host the summit in 2023, which would initiate the process of Iran becoming a full member of the eight-nation influential grouping.

Launched in Shanghai in June 2001, the SCO has eight full members, including its six founding members, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined as full members in 2017.

PM pushes for ‘transit rights’

Members should grant each other transit rights to ensure better connectivity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing the 22nd regional summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan today. He said better connectivity is needed in the regional grouping as there was a global food and energy crisis after global supply chains were affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

“The SCO needs to focus on bringing diversified and resilient supply chains…for this, better connectivity and access to transit is required,” PM Modi said, adding that India supports mutual trust and cooperation among SCO countries.

The PM said the innovative use of technology is being focused on in our people-centric development model, and India is ready to collaborate with SCO nations.

PM, At SCO Summit, Pushes For ‘Transit Rights’ Among Member States

SCO Summit: PM Modi said India supports mutual trust and cooperation among SCO countries.

New Delhi: Members should grant each other transit rights to ensure better connectivity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing the 22nd regional summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan today. He said better connectivity is needed in the regional grouping as there was a global food and energy crisis after global supply chains were affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

“The SCO needs to focus on bringing diversified and resilient supply chains…for this, better connectivity and access to transit is required,” PM Modi said, adding that India supports mutual trust and cooperation among SCO countries.

The PM said the innovative use of technology is being focused on in our people-centric development model, and India is ready to collaborate with SCO nations.

“We are working towards transforming India into a manufacturing hub…We are supporting innovation in every sector. Today there are more than 70,000 start-ups and over 100 unicorns in our country,” he said.

On tackling the challenges of food security, he spoke of India’s efforts to popularise millets as an alternative and cheap option.

He also appealed for collaboration on traditional medicine. “India is one of the most economical countries in the world for medical and wellness tourism… We should enhance cooperation between SCO countries for traditional medicine,” he said.

PM Modi later summarised his five-minute remark in a tweet along with pictures from the summit.

“At the SCO Summit in Samarkand, emphasised on the constructive role SCO can play in the post-COVID era particularly in furthering economic recovery and strengthening supply chains. Highlighted India’s emphasis on people-centric growth which also gives importance to technology,” he said.

“At the SCO Summit, also emphasised on tackling the challenge of food security. In this context, also talked about India’s efforts to further popularise millets. SCO can play a big role in marking 2023 as International Year of Millets,” he added in another tweet.

PM, Xi skip informal dinner

In fact, despite being at Samarkand, Xi Jingping was not seen in any of the videos shared by the hosts as the heads of council went on a tour of the Eternal city. The Eternal city is part of the New Tourist Complex – the venue of the SCO summit.

In the videos, Russian President Vladimir Putin can be seen walking right in front along with the host, Uzbekistan President Shavket Mirziyoyev.

Earlier, Modi and Xi skipped the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) pre-summit group events on Thursday, including the formal dinner. PM Modi was among the last leaders to arrive at Samarkand, ruling out his participation in the pre-summit events.

Neither of the two world leaders were seen in the photograph of leaders after the informal dinner, released late night on Thursday.

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Putin, Xi hail ties at talks defying West

The meeting was part of Xi’s first trip abroad since the early days of the pandemic. For Putin, it was a chance to show Russia has not been fully isolated despite Western efforts…reports Asian Lite News

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met for their first face-to-face talks since the start of the conflict in Ukraine on Thursday, hailing their strategic ties in defiance of the West.

Sitting across from each other at two long rounded tables and flanked by aides, the two leaders met on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in ex-Soviet Uzbekistan.

The meeting was part of Xi’s first trip abroad since the early days of the pandemic. For Putin, it was a chance to show Russia has not been fully isolated despite Western efforts.

“China is willing to make efforts with Russia to assume the role of great powers, and play a guiding role to inject stability and positive energy into a world rocked by social turmoil,” Xi told Putin at the talks.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV also quoted Xi as saying China was willing to work with Russia to support “each other’s core interests.”

Xi also met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on the sidelines  of the summit on Friday, urging “political mutual trust” between the two sides during a regional security meeting in Central Asia.

Turkey is a dialogue partner of the SCO.

“The two sides should consolidate political mutual trust, respect each other’s core interests and consolidate the political foundation of China-Turkey strategic cooperative relations,” Xi said, according to CCTV.

“We should focus on development cooperation (and) give full play to the role of various cooperation mechanisms and respective strengths between the two countries,” China’s leader was reported as saying.

Putin meanwhile took a clear broadside at the United States, which has been leading efforts to support Ukraine and impose sanctions on Russia.

“Attempts to create a unipolar world have recently acquired an absolutely ugly form and are completely unacceptable,” Putin said.

“We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends in connection with the Ukrainian crisis,” Putin told Xi, while reiterating Moscow’s backing for China on Taiwan.

“We adhere to the principle of one China. We condemn the provocation of the US and their satellites in the Taiwan Strait,” Putin said, after a US Senate committee on Wednesday took the first step toward Washington directly providing billions of dollars in military aid to Taiwan.

It was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since Putin saw Xi in early February for the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, days before the Russian leader launched the military offensive in Ukraine.

The Kremlin has touted the SCO summit in the ancient Silk Road city of Samarkand as showing there is an “alternative” to Western-dominated international institutions.

The SCO — made up of China, India, Pakistan, Russia and the ex-Soviet Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — was set up in 2001 as a political, economic and security organization to rival Western institutions.

Putin met the leaders of Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan earlier Thursday, as well as with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

With both Raisi and Sharif he said ties were “developing positively,” while the Iranian leader told Putin that US-backed sanctions on both countries would only make their relationship “stronger.”

“The Americans think whichever country they impose sanctions on, it will be stopped. Their perception is a wrong one,” Raisi said.

For Putin, the summit comes at an important time, as his forces face major battlefield setbacks in Ukraine and amid a continued Western push to make Russia an international pariah.

For Xi, it is an opportunity to shore up his credentials as a global statesman ahead of a pivotal congress of the ruling Communist Party in October.

The Chinese leader also met Thursday with Belarus’s strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko, who was quoted by state news agency Belta as thanking Xi for China’s “serious support in these difficult times.”

Lukashenko has been shunned by Western leaders after a fierce crackdown on the opposition two years ago and for backing Russia on Ukraine.

Chinese state media said Xi would also meet Erdogan on Friday.

Formerly Cold War allies with a tempestuous relationship, China and Russia have drawn closer in recent years as part of what they call a “no-limits” relationship acting as a counterweight to the global dominance of the United States.

The two countries have also stepped up military cooperation, with China sending hundreds of troops to take part in military exercises last month in Russia’s far east.

The defense ministry in Moscow said Thursday that Russian and Chinese warships were on a joint patrol in the Pacific and planning a live-fire artillery exercise at sea.

Other global leaders sounded alarm about deepening ties between Moscow and Beijing.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said China and Russia “share a vision for the world that is starkly at odds with the vision that’s at the center of the international system, the vision that has been at the center of the international system for the past eight decades.”

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said the two countries were inflicting harm on “international peace, stability, democracy and freedom.”

Putin was also set to hold talks Friday with Erdogan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Security was tight in Samarkand — a city of grand tiled mosques that was one of the hubs of Silk Road trade routes between China and Europe — with a huge police presence on the streets and armored vehicles parked downtown.

ALSO READ-All eyes on Putin, Xi meeting

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Xi, Putin to discuss Ukraine war at SCO meet

Also in the agenda are SCO’s activities and its role in international affairs and among bilateral topics, Ushakov cited the development of trade and economic cooperation…reports Asian Lite News

The Kremlin has confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will discuss the Ukraine war and other “current international problems” at this week’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

In a statement on Tuesday, Kremlin foreign policy spokesman Yury Ushakov said: “Bearing in mind the specifics of the current international situation, this meeting, naturally, has a special importance… The leaders are planned to discuss both the bilateral agenda and key regional and international topics.”

According to Ushakov, the meeting between Xi and Putin is a “long-awaited personal contact”, the second one over the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports TASS News Agency.

The first personal meeting between the two leaders took place in Beijing, when Putin attended the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in February this year.

The spokesman anticipated that Putin and Xi “will give a positive assessment to the unprecedented high level of the trust-based bilateral strategic partnership” between Russia and China.

Also in the agenda are SCO’s activities and its role in international affairs and among bilateral topics, Ushakov cited the development of trade and economic cooperation.

“In the current difficult situation, amid the Western sanctions, this cooperation is demonstrating sustainability and continues to develop and gain momentum,” TASS News Agency quoted Ushakov as saying.

On the sidelines of the summit, which will run from Thursday to Friday, Putin is also scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

According to Ushakov, Putin and Modi will discuss Russian-Indian cooperation within the UN and G20.

“A conversation on international agenda with Modi will also take place, the sides will discuss issues of strategic stability, the situation in the Asia Pacific Region, and, of course, cooperation within major multilateral formats, such as the UN, the G20 and the SCO,” the spokesman said.

“This is particularly important, because India will preside in the UN Security Council in December, and, in 2023, India will lead the SCO and will also chair the G20.”

The SCO Summit will be Xi’s first foreign visit after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.

Last time he left China was in January 2020 when he visited Myanmar, just days before the first lockdown came into effect in Wuhan, the BBC reported.

He has remained in China since then, leaving the mainland only once in July this year to visit Hong Kong.

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Xi, Putin to attend G-20 Summit in Indonesia

Bloomberg could not initially obtain confirmation of Putin and Xi’s attendance plans from Russian and Chinese sources…reports Asian Lite News

Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping are both expected to attend the G20 summit in Bali in November, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced.

“Xi Jinping will come. President Putin has also told me he will come,” dpa news agency quoted Widodo as saying to Bloomberg in an interview published on Friday.

Indonesia currently holds the G20 presidency.

Widodo had invited Putin but the Kremlin has so far not confirmed the Russian President’s plans either way.

Bloomberg could not initially obtain confirmation of Putin and Xi’s attendance plans from Russian and Chinese sources.

Putin’s participation in the summit is considered problematic in the West amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and several countries have put in doubt whether they would participate if he attended in person.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also been invited.

China is also experiencing heightened tensions with the US that were exacerbated by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan, which was followed by a US congressional delegation visiting Taipei.

Beijing called the moves provocations and launched large-scale military manoeuvres around the democratic island republic in response.

Indonesia is seeking trade and investment and is not seeking to join any bloc, Widodo told Bloomberg.

“Indonesia wants to be friends with everyone,” he said.

“We don’t have problems with any country.”

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Kremlin denies reports of Xi refusing to visit Russia

Earlier, the media reported that the Chinese President refused to visit Moscow in response to the invitation from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin…reports Asian Lite News

Earlier, the media reported that the Chinese President refused to visit Moscow in response to the invitation from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denied media reports suggesting that Chinese President Xi Jinping refused to visit Russia.

“This is not true. This is completely untrue. The fact is that certain Covid restrictions in China continue, and this is absolutely normal, and this should be treated with understanding,” RT quoted Peskov as saying.

“And as all these relaxations of these restrictions allow, of course, all visits will be carried out,” he said.

Earlier, the media reported that the Chinese President refused to visit Moscow in response to the invitation from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

As reported, the Russian leader invited Xi during a telephone call on June 15.

Peskov said that the country’s Ministry of Defence has its own plans in connection with the launch of the process of Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

“Such options are being worked out not in the Kremlin, but in the Ministry. We have already said many times that there are relevant plans there and work is being done to ensure our security,” Peskov said.

Thus, he answered the question whether the Kremlin is considering the option of placing a NATO base on the border with Russia and how Moscow can respond in this regard.

At the same time, Peskov added that Putin had already assessed the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO.

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