China welcomes proposed accession of India in SCO

China is the host of the next Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

Updated: May 23, 2012, 18:55 PM IST

Beijing: China, the host of the next Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, on Wednesday welcomed the proposed accession of India and Pakistan to the security grouping, but said no timetable should be set to grant them full membership.

"We welcome relevant countries to become members of the SCO," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, Cheng Guoping told a media briefing on the summit scheduled to be held here on June 6-7.

"The relevant countries should work hard towards political, legal and technical preparations for [the membership]," he said answering a question about elevating India and Pakistan as members as proposed by Russia which is the biggest country in the forum along with China.

He said work about expanding the membership is going on.

"The decision should be made through consensus and consultation and no timetable should be set. That is to say, when the conditions are ripe, the decision should be made through consensus," he said.

SCO, a China backed security forum was set up in Shanghai in 2001.

Its members included Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Pakistan, India, Iran and Mongolia have been given observer status while Turkmenistan and Afghanistan attend SCO gatherings as guest nations. Belarus and Sri Lanka have the status as dialogue partners.

PTI