02 Jul 2017
Amid Sikkim stand-off, India and China attend the SCO summit
Amidst an intensifying stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops at the border in Sikkim, the two countries attended the Shanghai Co-operation Organization meeting held in Dalian, in North-east China.
India and China have been clashing over, on the disputed Donglang area, situated at the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction.
This was the first plenary meeting conducted after India and Pakistan's official entry into the five-nation grouping.
Shanghai Co-operation Organization
SCO was founded in 2001 after Shanghai Five, formed in 1996 including China, Russia and the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan, admitted Uzbekistan as a member.
It focuses on security issues plaguing Central Asia, including terrorism and separatism.
SCO members account for 60% of Eurasian landmass and would account for about half of the world's population as India and Pakistan are admitted.
What was the meeting about?
Discussions at the meeting revolved around matters including combating terrorism, border security and prevention of trans-border crimes.
Highlighting that China valued border co-operation measures, Chinese representative Chen Digwu noted that China has already instituted border co-operation mechanisms with 11 neighbours including SCO member states.
Rashid Alimov, SCO Secretary-General noted that the SCO will help create a politically positive environment to consolidate trust and friendship.
New members: India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan were officially admitted to the organization at the recent SCO summit held in Astana, Kazakhstan. While India's membership was endorsed by Russia, Pakistan's membership was endorsed by China.
Do India-China relations remain unaffected by the stand-off?
Global Times reported that India is attending the SCO summit despite an evolving rift with China at the Sikkim border. "Observers believed that relations between China and India were unaffected by the stand-off between Chinese army and Indian troops along the Sino-India border," it added.