The SCO summit in Kyrgyztan this week would discuss security and economy related issues with a focus on counter terrorism, but it is not aimed at targeting any country, China said on Monday.
The 19th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be held the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek on June 13-14. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping would also attend the summit.
The SCO is a China-led eight-member economic and security bloc. Its founding members include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
India and Pakistan were admitted to the grouping in 2017.
This week’s SCO summit will be the first major international event being attended by Modi after his re-election. He would meet President Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the summit.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will also take part in the meeting.
The summit would review the past year’s work of the SCO and draw up a plan for cooperation this year, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui told a media briefing here.
“The institutional building of the SCO would be discussed involving economic and security cooperation, particularly on counter terrorism. Security and development are two major issues focus of the SCO,” he said.
“The establishment of the SCO is not to target any country but summit of this level would certainly pay attention to major international and regional issues,” he said in response to a question whether the thrust of the summit would be to oppose the US’ trade frictions with China and other countries.
China routinely asserts that the SCO in which it plays a dominant part is not aimed at forming a military alliance.
Since the admission of India and Pakistan into the SCO, Chinese officials have been expressing hope that both the countries would make use of the organisation to improve relations and not to make it a platform to highlight their differences.
Zhang also said Xi would also meet Pakistan Prime Minister Khan where the two leaders would focus their talks on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and counter terrorism related issues.
“Our bilateral relations are growing very well. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) framework (in which the CPEC is a part) and in terms of counter terrorism framework we have carried out cooperation with very fruitful outcomes,” Zhang said.
“Such outcomes are good for two economies and have played positive role in promoting our respective security and regional stability. I am sure meeting between the two leaders will focus on the pressing issues in bilateral relations, regional and international issues,” he said.
In recent years the SCO has made counter terrorism cooperation one of its main focus areas. The organisation in recent years built up Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) which focusses on periodic counter terrorism exercises involving the member countries.
Since their entry, security forces of India and Pakistan have been taking part in the drills organised by the RATS.B
Zhang also said this year’s summit could also discuss issues like multilateralism and protectionism in the context of US trade tensions China besides several other countries including India.
“As for the ongoing unilateral protectionism and bullying practices in the world, they are close to the hearts of all countries,” he said.
“We have not set an agenda beforehand but some participating countries will be interested in these topics. Some leaders will express their views on these matters. It is only natural to see that is happening,” he said.