External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to visit China in April
Leading India-China attempts of an entente, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to China next month to take part in the foreign ministers meeting at Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Her visit will precede PM Narendra Modi's visit to attend the summit in Qingdao, China in June. Swaraj's visit comes amid efforts by India and China to move forward after last year's Doklam standoff.
What is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a Eurasian political, economic and military organization founded by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2016. India's entry into this Chinese-dominated grouping was considered a major milestone, since it is being developed as a counter-weight to NATO. Moreover, India benefited by being included in major discussions on the region's geopolitics.
Now, why is Swaraj's China visit important?
Apart from attending the SCO meeting scheduled for April 23-24, Swaraj will hold bilateral meetings with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. The two leaders earlier met in December on the sidelines of the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral. Swaraj might also hold bilaterals with other SCO countries.
How have Sino-India relations been since the Doklam stand-off?
After the Doklam standoff, PM Modi and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in September'17. They promised to work towards developing sound India-China relations, amidst global uncertainties. They decided not to allow differences to become disputes. However, since then, China has ramped up its infrastructure in the disputed area.
Meanwhile, Swaraj has a choc-o-block itinerary in days to come
Separately, Swaraj is all set to travel to Japan on a bilateral visit from March 28. She will also undertake a trip to the US to participate in the strategic '2+2' dialogue.