Chinese foreign minister to attend SCO meet in Goa on May 4-5

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang will travel to India to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting being held in Goa on May 4 and 5, the foreign ministry in Beijing announced on Tuesday.

Qin will attend the upcoming SCO foreign ministers’ meeting in Panaji, the announcement said.

The SCO consists of China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India holds the presidency of the grouping for this year.

At the SCO foreign ministers meeting, Qin will exchange views with other counterparts on the international and regional situation and cooperation among the member states in various fields, besides other topics, to make full preparation for this year’s SCO summit, the statement said.

This will be Qin’s second visit to India after he took charge as the foreign minister.

In early March, he visited India to take part in the G20 foreign ministers meeting during which he also held talks with External Affairs Minister SJaishankar on the current round of India-China tensions over the Chinese military actions in eastern Ladakh in May 2020, leading to a four-year standoff.

In his meeting with Qin, Jaishankar had said the state of India-China ties is “abnormal” and there are real problems in the bilateral ties which needed to be open and candid dialogue.

“It’s our first meeting after he took over as foreign minister. We spent maybe about 45 minutes talking to each other and the bulk of our conversation, understandably, was about the current state of our relationship, which many of you have heard me describe as abnormal,” Jaishankar told reporters after he met with Qin on March 2.

“And those were among the adjectives that I used in that meeting. There are real problems in that relationship that need to be looked at, that need to be discussed very openly and candidly between us,” he had said.

After that, the two sides held the 18th round of corps commanders level talks to resolve the eastern Ladakh standoff.

Qin’s visit to India was followed by Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu’s visit to New Delhi to attend the SCO ministers meeting on April 27 during which he held talks with his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh.

In his meeting with Li, Singh said that China’s violation of border agreements “eroded” the entire basis of ties between the two countries and that all issues relating to the frontier must be resolved in accordance with the existing pacts.

For his part, Gen Li maintained that the situation at the India-China border is ”generally stable” and both sides should put the frontier issue in an ”appropriate position” and promote its transition to ”normalised management”.

Before travelling to India, Qin visited Myanmar starting Tuesday.

The visit to Myanmar is aimed to further follow through on the outcomes of President Xi Jinping’s visit to the country in January 2020, deepen practical cooperation in such fields as economy and livelihood, and support Myanmar’s efforts to maintain stability, revitalize the economy, improve people’s lives, and realise sustainable development, an official statement in Beijing said.

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