PM Narendra Modi will be joined by Chinese Premier Xi Jinping, Pakistan PM Imran Khan as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin at the virtual Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on Tuesday.

The three leaders will come face to face at a time when diplomatic ties between India, Pakistan and China have hit the rock bottom over various issues such as Kashmir, terrorism emanating from Pakistan, Balakot and the standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

“The Prime Minister will lead the Indian delegation at the 20th summit of the SCO Council of heads of state which will be held in the virtual format on Nov 10. The meeting will be chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin,” MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had earlier said.

The eight-member bloc represents over 40 per cent of the world’s population and 20 per cent of the world’s GDP. India has been an active member of the regional grouping that has emerged as the counterweight to NATO in the recent past. 

The meeting comes amid LAC standoff
India and China have been locked in a bitter standoff since early this year. The face-off began with China building up troops along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. India responded with an equal build-up. The two countries have held a series of military-to-military level talks as well as diplomatic engagements. However, meetings have failed to yield any outcome as troops continue to remain deployed along the LAC even days ahead of the onset of harsh winter.

The issue was discussed by defence ministers and foreign ministers of the two countries on the SCO platform in Moscow. The two sides had also agreed to disengage from the LAC, however, the Chinese side refused to reduce troop deployment from the area resulting in the continuation of the deadlock.