India, Uzbekistan review bilateral ties

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Modi met Jingpin and sources reveal that PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping likely took stock of the progress of the two countries in implementing decisions that they had taken earlier at the Wuhan informal summit.

China opens Saturday a two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit attended by Pakistan and India after the two countries became members of the regional security bloc led by China and Russian Federation.

Last year, China had stopped sharing data soon after the 73-day long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Dokalam over Chinese military's plans to build a road close to India's Chicken Neck corridor connecting North-Eastern states.

The two leaders also discussed China importing "high quality pharmaceutical products" from India.

Briefing the media on the Modi-Xi meeting, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said it was "very positive and forward looking" with both leaders lauding the spirit of the Wuhan summit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted a dinner on Saturday evening to welcome guests who gather in the coastal city of Qingdao for the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.

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"The Qingdao summit is a new departure point for us". As Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last week, "The Qingdao Summit will lay out new plans to enhance the synergy of development strategies of member states, especially promoting the construction of the Belt and Road to lift regional economic cooperation".

Luo said it was the 14th meeting between the two leaders over past four years.

In his remarks, Xi recalled the meeting with Modi in Wuhan, how well it had been received, and said a positive atmosphere was taking shape to support China-India relations. We had detailed discussions on bilateral and global issues. "One of the outcomes of today's meeting is that we have agreed we will move forward in identifying a specific project initially in the area of capacity building", Gokhale said.

The two leaders also spoke about ensuring greater people-to-people contact, with Xi talking about the popularity of Indian films like Dangal, Bahubaali and Hindi Medium in China. Modi and Xi are again expected to meet next month during the BRICS Summit in South Africa.

Sharing some aspects of the almost 50-minute meeting, the foreign secretary said Xi described the Wuhan summit as a "new starting point" in bilateral relations between the two countries while Prime Minister called it as a "milestone" in ties which will help in developing mutual understanding and trust. He held bilateral meetings with the Presidents of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Terrorism is the most severe security challenge the SCO faces. India, along with Pakistan had become a full-time member during Astana summit in June 2017. Over the past years, SCO member states have jointly made achievements in deterring terrorist attacks and arresting members of worldwide terrorist organisations, he said.

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