PM's statement prior to his departure to Qingdao in China

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He was in the Chinese city of Wuhan on April 27 and 28 to attend an informal summit with President Xi Jinping.

Meanwhile, on Day 1 of the Summit, PM Modi also held almost half a dozen bilateral meetings with leaders of other SCO countries, including with President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of Uzbekistan. This is the PM's second visit to China in the last 6 weeks.

President Xi Jinping appreciated Pakistan for its proactive participation in SCO since becoming a member.

"The SCO has a rich agenda for cooperation, ranging from fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism to promoting cooperation in connectivity, commerce, customs, law, health and agriculture; protecting the environment and mitigating disaster risk, and fostering people-to-people relations", Prime Minister Modi said.

"The Qingdao summit is a new departure point for us".

Armored vans lined the streets of the coastal city of Qingdao as world leaders arrived Friday for the 18th annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional security bloc led by China and Russian Federation. "Our talks will add further vigour to the India-China friendship".

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He also said he would be holding multiple meetings with the heads of various SCO member states on the sidelines of the summit.

The two nations signed agreements Saturday on the export of non-Basmati varieties of rice from India and information sharing between China and India on the Brahmaputra river in flood season. They also discussed the regional security situation and global issues. "In that context a new people-to-people mechanism will be set up, headed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the Indian side and by State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi". Xi also called for inclusive development and sustainable security, saying they can be achieved by enhancing mutual trust and the foundations for shared peace and security. "The first meeting of this mechanism will be held this year", he said.

The two leaders also spoke about ensuring greater people-to-people contact, with Xi talking about the popularity of Indian films like Dangal, Bahubaali and Hindi Medium in China. Within hours of his arrival the prime minister had talks with the organisation's Secretary General Rashid Alimov.

"Wonderful to meet Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of Uzbekistan".

The SCO Summit is scheduled to take place on Sunday, and counter-terrorism and security in the region are expected to dominate the discussions. Over the past years, SCO member states have jointly made achievements in deterring terrorist attacks and arresting members of global terrorist organisations, he said.

The SCO, launched in 2001 mainly to combat radical Islam and other security concerns across Central Asia, added traditional rivals India and Pakistan as members a year ago.

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