Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend next week's virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) being hosted by India, it was announced here on Friday.
At the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Xi will attend via video conference in Beijing, the 23rd meeting of the Council of Heads meeting of the SCO on July 4 and deliver important remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a brief press release.
This is the first official announcement about Xi's participation in the SCO summit being hosted by India.
Later answering a question at a media briefing on Xi's participation, another Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning said besides delivering important remarks, the Chinese President together with other participating leaders, chart the course for the future growth of the organisation.
"With the concerted efforts of all sides, the SCO will achieve greater progress and boost development and prosperity in regional countries, she said.
Mao said since its establishment, the SCO has continuously consolidated good neighbourliness and political mutual trust between member states, deepened cooperation in various sectors, and played an important and constructive role in international and regional affairs.
In a world marked by change and disorder and fraught with increasing instability, uncertainties and unpredictable factors, regional countries, as well as other members of the international community, look to the SCO to play a bigger role in safeguarding regional security and promoting common development, she said.
"As a founding member, China views the SCO as a priority in its foreign affairs," she said.
"We stand ready to work with other members to act on the Global Development Initiative, (GDI) the Global Security Initiative, (GSI) and the Global Civilization Initiative, (GCI) to build an even closer SCO community with a shared future, and usher in a brighter future for the Eurasian continent, she said.
The GDI, GSI and GCI are the new set of doctrines put forward by Xi to advance China's strategic influence in the world.
The SCO is an influential economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations.
The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2017.
India holds the rotating Presidency of the organisation this year.
Ahead of the summit to be held for the first time under India's Presidency, India on Tuesday inaugurated an exquisitely designed New Delhi Hall at the SCO Secretariat in Beijing.
While the SCO's six founding members, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan have their halls highlighting their cultures and unique features, India is the first to add its own.
Virtually inaugurating the hall, External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar in his address said the New Delhi Hall, is conceived to be a mini-India showcasing various facets of Indian culture.
To make you visualise the depth of India's artistic tradition and cultural identity, the Hall has been designed with exquisite patterns and motifs representing the rich architectural craftsmanship found throughout India, he said.
Last year, the in-person SCO summit took place in the Uzbek city of Samarkand that was attended by all top leaders of the grouping including Prime Minister Modi, Chinese President Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
In September, India will host the G20 summit for which it is going to invite Xi and Putin, besides other leaders of the bloc.
The theme of the summit is 'Towards a SECURE SCO'.
The SECURE acronym was coined by Prime Minister Modi at the 2018 SCO summit and it stands for Security; Economy and Trade; Connectivity; Unity; Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity; and Environment.
These themes have been highlighted during India's chairmanship of the SCO.
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