First yes and now no! Why did Modi change his mind about the SCO summit, is Xi the reason?

Ananya Shroff
3 Min Read
First yes and now no! Why did Modi change his mind about the SCO summit, is Xi the reason?

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi He will not attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit to be held in Astana on July 3-4. The main reason for this is to attend the first session of Parliament after becoming the Prime Minister for the third consecutive time. But the real reason is tension with China. People familiar with the matter said that PM Modi had earlier confirmed that he would attend the Astana SCO summit. However, now he may send External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to represent India. Modi had agreed to attend the summit thinking that apart from the leaders of Russia, China and Iran, he would also meet host Kazakhstan and other Central Asian leaders.

Modi unable to get along with Xi Jinping

India will chair the SCO in 2023, but the summit was held in virtual mode. Modi attended the 2022 SCO summit in Samarkand but did not hold any meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi and Modi later held brief talks at the Bali G20 summit. Then there was a short meeting at the BRICS summit in South Africa in 2023.

The tension on the border is not ending

Amid the ongoing tension on the border, relations with China continue to sour. At the same time, the meeting of the US delegation with Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Dharamshala and the decision not to agree to resume direct flights to China clearly indicate that relations have cooled down. It is a different matter that trade with China is increasing and Indian industry is also demanding visa exemption for Chinese professionals. India has imposed restrictions on the number of visas issued from Beijing and other consulates in China.

Delay in normalizing relations

People familiar with the matter said China has still not agreed to restore the pre-Galwan status quo at several places in Ladakh, hampering the normalisation of relations. In February, India and China held a fresh round of high-level military talks to resolve the border dispute in eastern Ladakh, with both sides agreeing to maintain “peace and stability” on the ground, but there has been no sign of any breakthrough.

Terrorism will be discussed in SCO summit

At that meeting, the Indian side strongly pressed for resolution of pending issues in Depsang and Demchok, but there was no concrete progress in the talks. The Ministry of External Affairs had then said that both sides agreed to continue dialogue on the way forward through relevant military and diplomatic mechanisms. The focus of the SCO summit, chaired by Kazakhstan, will be counter-terrorism in the backdrop of growing influence of ISIS and rising radicalism in Eurasia.

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