Qingdao (China): Prime minister Narendra Modi arrived in Qingdao, China, on Friday to attend the annual summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) that is likely to deliberate on several pressing global issues, including future of Iran nuclear deal, the impact of US sanctions on Russia and situation in the Indo-Pacific region.

This is Modi’s second visit to China in a little over five weeks. He was in the Chinese city of Wuhan on 27-28 April to attend an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The SCO summit is also likely to explore ways to deepen cooperation among member countries in dealing with threats of terrorism, extremism, and radicalisation besides delving into issues relating to trade, investment, and connectivity.

Modi will become the first Indian prime minister to attend the SCO summit after India, as well as Pakistan, became a full-fledged member of the grouping led by China and Russia

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is increasingly seen as a counter to the NATO. It currently has eight member countries representing around 42% of the world’s population and 20% of the global GDP.

Besides Modi, other leaders attending the SCO summit in Qingdao are Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain.

In his address at the SCO, Modi is likely to articulate India’s position on dealing with major global challenges, including terrorism, trade and investment in the region.

The summit in this Chinese port city is taking place under the shadow of Washington’s pullout from the Iran nuclear deal, its sanction regime against Russia and frictions with China over trade tariff dispute.

Diplomats said all these issues may figure at the SCO summit as well as during deliberations on its sidelines.

In the wake of Washington’s strained ties with Russia, China and Iran, officials said the SCO summit will provide an opportunity for President Xi and his Russian counterpart Putin to reflect on a common vision for the region and present the bloc as a powerful voice to deal with pressing global issues. The situation in the Indo-Pacific may figure in the talks but it is unlikely that the issue will find a mention in the SCO outcome document.

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