Beijing: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in China on Saturday on a four-day visit to take part in the foreign ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). She will also hold bilateral talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, whom she is due to meet on Sunday.
This is their first meeting after Wang was elevated as state councillor in March 2018. He also continues to be foreign minister.
External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj arrived today in Beijing for a bilateral visit and to attend the Regular meeting of Foreign Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation #SCO @SushmaSwaraj @MEAIndia pic.twitter.com/MZHaZhMm1O
— India in China (@EOIBeijing) April 21, 2018
Swaraj and Wang are meeting in the immediate backdrop of the recent meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and top official of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) Yang Jiechi in Shanghai. Both sides also held the 11th Joint Economic Group meeting and the fifth Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED).
Besides meetings between officials from the two foreign ministries, both sides also held working mechanism meetings on border affairs and cross-border rivers as well disarmament and non-proliferation dialogue in which India's entry into NSG was discussed, as per PTI.
Swaraj will take part in the foreign ministers' meeting of the eight-member SCO on April 24. She along with other foreign ministers of the group would call on Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 23 and will leave for Mongolia the next day.
This is the first meeting of the group after India and Pakistan were admitted into the SCO in 2017. The organisation is comprised of China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Also, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will arrive in Beijing on April 23 to take part in the SCO defence ministers' meeting to be held the next day. Swaraj and Sitharaman would be in Beijing around the same time to attend their respective meetings.
Sitharaman is also expected to meet her Chinese counterpart Lt Gen Wei Fenghe.
No bilaterals between foreign, defence ministers of India, Pakistan at SCO
However, there will be no bilateral meetings between Swaraj, Sitharaman with their Pakistan counterparts at the SCO ministerial meets. "There will be no meetings with their Pakistan counterparts," PTI quoted official sources as saying
Relations between India and Pakistan turned frosty after the Pathankot terror attack in January 2016 and another strike by terrorists on an Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir in September that year.
(With Agency inputs)