Chinese President Xi Jinping has accepted an invitation to attend the upcoming virtual summit of the “Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)” hosted by India, according to an official announcement. The 23rd meeting of the Council of Heads of the SCO will take place on July 4, and President Xi will participate via video conference from Beijing. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, stated that President Xi will deliver important remarks during the summit.
This marks the first official confirmation of President Xi’s participation in the SCO summit hosted by India. The SCO is a significant economic and security bloc that has gained prominence as one of the largest trans-regional international organisations. It was established in 2001 during a summit in Shanghai with the participation of the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became permanent members in 2017.
As the current rotating President of the organisation, India has taken steps to showcase its culture and unique features within the SCO Secretariat. Inaugurating the “New Delhi Hall” in Beijing, India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishank Ar, described it as a representation of “mini-India” that displays various facets of Indian culture.
Last year, the SCO summit was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, with the attendance of top leaders from member countries, including Prime Minister Modi, President Xi, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. In September, India is scheduled to host the G20 summit, where leaders from various countries will be invited, including Xi and Putin.
The theme of the upcoming SCO summit is ‘Towards a Secure SCO,’ which was initially introduced by Prime Minister Modi at the 2018 SCO summit. The term “SECURE” represents the key focus areas of the summit, including Security, Economy and Trade, Connectivity, Unity, Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity, and the environment. These themes have been emphasised during India’s chairmanship of the SCO.