On Friday, the Asian rivals’ relations will be restored with the first face-to-face meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi since the deadly border clashes in 2020.
On Thursday, Modi will take a flight to Samarkand, Uzbekistan, to attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional security organization that also includes Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a statement, Modi said, “I look forward to sharing views at the SCO summit on current, regional, and global challenges, the growth of SCO, and on further strengthening of multidimensional and mutually beneficial collaboration within the organization.”
He said the summit was likely to result in a lot of decisions regarding trade, the economy, culture, and tourism.
After more than two years of a standoff, Indian and Chinese soldiers this week withdrew at a disputed location along a remote western Himalayan border. Since the beginning of the impasse, Modi and Xi have not talked to one another.
While declining to confirm a one-on-one meeting with Xi, India’s foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said at a press conference on Thursday that Modi will hold bilateral discussions outside of the summit on Friday. A meeting between the two presidents has not been confirmed by China either.
China, India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan are the permanent members of the SCO.
Putin and Modi will meet bilaterally, as Russia has previously announced, and are anticipated to discuss trade in general, sales of Russian fertilizer, and food supplies.