Xi, Nawaz met several times at SCO summit


China denies rumours of rift

Observer Report


Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met ‘several times’ during the recently-held Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Astana, Kazakhastan, China said Monday. Beijing’s statement comes days after reports said Xi had skipped a customary meeting with Sharif at the SCO summit after two Chinese teachers were abducted in Balochistan last month. “Some reports are just nonsense and unwanted,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said, according to the Press Trust of India. “China and Pakistan enjoy an all-weather strategic partnership.” On June 8, it was reported that two Chinese citizens who were kidnapped from Quetta by the militant Islamic State group had been killed. China had condemned the incident saying the abduction highlighted the ‘risks’ associated with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Last week it was reported that Xi had held meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, except Sharif at the SCO summit. Meanwhile, it was also reported that PM Nawaz had met with the presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia and Afghanistan, but did not meet Xi. Lu said all member nations at the summit had agreed to “build on the Shanghai spirit” and step up the cooperation between the new and old members. “The summit has realised the first-ever membership enlargement of the SCO,” Lu said. “As you know India and Pakistan have got full membership.”

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