Xi, Modi may discuss ‘US’ trade protectionism in SCO Summit: China

Vastavam web: Describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping as “good friends”, China on Monday hoped that the two leaders would discuss their respective trade frictions with the US and reach a consensus on opposing trade protectionism during their “very important” meeting this week on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Bishkek. This year’s summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be held in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on June 13-14 where Modi and Xi are scheduled to meet and discuss bilateral and international issues.

The meeting assumes significance as this is the first meeting between the two leaders after Modi-led BJP’s massive victory in the recent elections in India.
Xi had congratulated Modi on his re-election through a letter on May 23. “Once again we congratulate Prime Minister Modi. President Xi and Prime Minister Modi are good friends. They had very successful informal summit at Wuhan last year,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui told a media briefing here answering a question on the Modi-Xi meeting.

He said the Wuhan summit has provided strategic guidance for the development of India-China ties, paving the way for stable growth of China-India relations in the long run.

When asked about the meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the SCO summit, Zhang said, “While the details for the meeting are under discussion, I believe every bilateral meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi is very important. From the Chinese side, we will make good perpetrations for the success of bilateral meeting.” He also said the China-US trade war and the “spectre” of emerging trade frictions between the US and India could become important part of the discussions between the two leaders.

“Whether they will talk about trade fictions between China and the US and the spectre of trade frictions between the US and India, such things are not surprising. I believe this could become an important topic in his bilateral meetings with the related leaders,” he said.

The two countries have been in an escalating conflict over trade for the past year. The scope of the battle has expanded in recent months as Washington has tightened trade restrictions on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.