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The 18th SCO summit in Qingdao concludes with a declaration to combat terrorism

Published on June 12, 2018
The recently concluded 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)summit in the coastal city of Qingdao in the Shandong Province of China was India's first SCO summit as a "Full-Time Member", a status that India got at the Astana SCO summit in Kazakhstan in June last year.
The 18th SCO summit in Qingdao concludes with a declaration to combat terrorism
  • A key take away that came from this 18th SCO summit was the adoption of the "Qingdao Declaration" that calls for a comprehensive 3-year plan to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism.
  • This crucial declaration was adopted by the leaders of India, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.
  • The declaration does not limit itself to combating terrorism but covers under its progressive umbrella numerous other issues such as: "Implementation of treaty on long term good neighbourliness, friendship and co-operation."
  • While praising Afghanistan President Ghani for taking courageous steps for peace, PM Modi said Afghanistan was “an unfortunate example” of terrorism.
  • It must be noted that the SCO has a Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in place that works to achieve regional stability & security.
  • RATS is based in Tashkent, encourages cooperation among the members to exchange information and achieve the common goal of curbing terrorism and dealing with security challenges.
  • Another highlight of this summit was India's clear and unambiguous stand on China ambitious "Belt and Road Initiative" (BRI) programme.
  • India was the only member state that did not give the SCO its consent on BRI.
  • PM Modi in his speech said that India “welcomes new connectivity projects that are inclusive, sustainable, transparent, and those that respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations”.
  • He also stressed on the fact that “connectivity with SCO and neighbours is a priority for India”.
  • But since the proposed BRI passes through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, India will not endorse the project as it is against its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • All in all it was a productive summit with the most important take away for China being India's support in the on going trade dispute that China is facing with the Trump administration.

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