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PM Modi meets China's Xi Jinping at SCO summit in Astana

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets China's Xi Jinping ahead of SCO summit Photograph: (Twitter)

Reuters Astana, Kazakhstan Jun 09, 2017, 06.12 AM (IST)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Astana on Friday.

The meeting between Modi and Xi comes amid a sharp downturn in the ties between the nuclear-armed Asian giants.

New Delhi is smarting over China's refusal to allow it entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a global cartel that controls nuclear trade, and over Beijing blocking a request at the UN to sanction a Pakistan-based militant blamed for attacks on India.

India chose to skip Belt and Road Forum (BRF) - China's biggest summit of the year - held in April. New Delhi is incensed that one of the key Belt and Road projects passes through Kashmir and Pakistan - over which the neighbours have fought two of their three wars.

On the other hand, Beijing is angry at India's increasingly public engagement of the Dalai Lama, including hosting the Tibetan spiritual leader in a territory controlled by India but claimed by China in April.

Modi arrived in Kazakhstan capital on Thursday to attend the SCO summit where India will be formally admitted as a full-time member of the security bloc.

India had been an observer country at the SCO - a Eurasian political, economic and military bloc - since 2005 and had applied for a full membership in 2014 and the SCO foreign ministers gave a positive recommendation when they met in June 2015.

China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan formed the SCO in 2001 to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighbouring Afghanistan.

(Reuters)

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