Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will come face-to-face on Friday for the first time since border clashes in 2020 frayed ties. Prime Minister Modi will fly to the Uzbek city of Samarkand on Thursday for a summit of the regional security group Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which will also be attended by Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The event comes after Indian and Chinese soldiers this week disengaged from a face-off site in eastern Ladakh after more than two years of a standoff. Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi have not spoken to each other since the standoff began.
Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra told a news conference on Thursday that Prime Minister Modi would have bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, but declined to confirm a one-on-one with Xi. China has also not confirmed a meeting between the two leaders.
The SCO’s permanent members are China, India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.
Russia has already confirmed a bilateral meeting between Putin and Prime Minister Modi, during which they are expected to talk about overall trade as well as sales of Russian fertilisers and mutual food supplies.
Mr Kwatra said broader SCO discussions would range from trade and regional security to tourism and terrorism.