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High-stakes bilateral discussions before the SCO defense ministers meeting, agenda & schedule for the India-China diplomatic showdown

Prior to the meeting of the defense ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), India and China are scheduled to undertake bilateral negotiations.

General Li Shangfu, the Chinese defense minister, is due to meet with Rajnath Singh, his Indian counterpart, in Delhi on Thursday. Both leaders will meet at 6 PM at the ITC Maurya Hotel, according to sources in India's defense ministry, to address important matters pertaining to their respective countries.

General Li Shangfu's visit marks the first time a Chinese Defense Minister has visited since the Galwan battle, in which 20 Indian troops were killed in a fight with People's Liberation Army (PLA) forces.

Recently, General Li Shangfu assumed command of the position.

WHO SET THE DATES?

The two ministers' conversation is anticipated to center on problems that affect both nations, notably regional peace and security.

The conference is anticipated to include border concerns, such as de-escalation in eastern Ladakh and transgressions in Arunachal Pradesh, given the escalating situation along the border. The conference is anticipated to cover the topic of the buffer zone plan that both parties have agreed upon. Both nations have deployed more soldiers in the advanced zones.

The summit is also anticipated to discuss the continuing conflicts in Depsang and Demchok, where neither party has been able to come to a resolution after 18 rounds of negotiations at the commander level. The most recent meeting, which took place on April 23, came to a close with the goal of holding another meeting to discuss the problems and find a mutually acceptable solution.

An official from the defense ministry said, “This meeting is important for both nations. Both parties are committed to finding a solution, but discussions at the commander level and those between leaders at a table vary. Priority will be given to solving the problem, as it has done in the past.

India wants to improve ties with Russia.

India has arranged meetings with Russia in addition to bilateral discussions with China. After the major event on Friday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian colleague Sergei Shoigu are anticipated to meet. India has depended on Russia to meet its defense demands since the two nations have a strong relationship and a long history of defense cooperation.

India is working on its Atmanirbharta strategy and asking friendly nations to jointly produce and develop goods for future requirements. Russia is also seeking to deepen its connections with India. More agreements and collaboration between the two nations are anticipated to result from the summit.

WHAT ELSE TOUCHES THE SCO DEFENCE MINISTERS' MEETING?

All SCO members—aside from Pakistan—as well as two observers—Iran and Belarus—are expected to attend the summit. The SCO Defence Ministers' Meeting's subject is “Secure SCO,” with an emphasis on talking about counterterrorism initiatives as well as regional security and peace.

The defense ministers of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan will attend, according to the ministry of defense. India has sent invitations to Belarus and Iran, two countries who are now SCO observers, to attend the SCO Defence Ministers' Meeting. Pakistan's defense minister will take part digitally.

The main event will start on April 28 in New Delhi at roughly 9:30 AM.

The presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan established the SCO during a conference in Shanghai in 2001. In 2017, India joined as a permanent member.

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