India strikes river, rice deals with China as relations thaw

Pakistan       by Nozair Hanif Mirza | Published

Pakistan by Nozair Hanif Mirza | Published

"It is the first summit after India and Pakistan joined SCO as full members of this organisation", Zhou said adding, "I think the forthcoming summit will explore the opportunity of new membership of India and Pakistan to expand the scope and areas of cooperation, not only between China and Pakistan and India but between all members of the SCO".

Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted a dinner on Saturday evening to welcome guests who gather in the coastal city of Qingdao for the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.

Regional security issues will also feature, because terrorism is the most severe security challenge facing the SCO, according to Liao Jinrong, head of the Chinese ministry of public security's global cooperation department.

Beijing agreed to share hydrological information of the Brahmaputra river with New Delhi and agreed to let India export non-basmati rice.

Apart from this, the two sides formally agreed to undertake a joint project in Afghanistan, pertaining to "capacity building". They also discussed regional security situation and global issues.

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The entry of India and Pakistan could pave the way for greater three-way cooperation between India, China and Pakistan, former Chinese Ambassador to India and Pakistan Zhou Gang, told India Today.

Gokhale said the meeting had a "very positive forward looking momentum" which was underpinned by spirit of the Wuhan summit.

Citing Afghanistan as an "unfortunate example" of effect of terrorism, Modi said he hoped the courageous steps towards peace taken by President Ashraf Ghani will be respected by all in the region, apparently referring to a cease-fire announced by the Afghan leader for the Eid festival.

Rouhani, speaking at a summit of the Chinese and Russian-led security bloc the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the port city of Qingdao, said that Russia's role in implementing the nuclear deal had been "important and constructive". "Ties between our nations have their roots in history", Mr. Modi said in a tweet. India, along with Pakistan, became the full-time member during Astana summit in June 2017.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi will head a new mechanism to oversee people-to-people contacts, and will soon meet to discuss details.

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In this context, Xi also referred to growing popularity of Indian films in China and particularly mentioned about films Dangal and Bahubali.

At the meeting, the Chinese side also agreed to import high-quality agricultural products from India and said they will also allow Indian pharmaceutical products in Chinese market.

PM Modi with President Xi in Qingdao, China, Saturday. The first meeting of the new mechanism would be held this year, Gokhale said. The leaders agreed the Wuhan summit had helped develop mutual trust and understanding and take the relationship in a positive direction.

These moves are seen as attempts by India and China to bring ties back on an even keel after the 73-day-long tense military standoff between India and China past year over their unsettled boundary dispute.

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