Pakistan, India to start process of joining China security bloc

Chinese vice foreign minister says India and Pakistan's admission to the SCO will improve their bilateral relations


Reuters July 06, 2015
PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING: Nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India will start the process of joining a security bloc led by China and Russia at a summit in Russia later this week, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Monday, the first time the grouping has expanded since it was set up in 2001.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) groups China, Russia and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, while India, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Mongolia are observers.

"As the influence of the SCO's development has expanded, more and more countries in the region have brought up joining the SCO," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told a news briefing.

Read: Nawaz, Modi may meet at Russia summit

"...India and Pakistan's admission to the SCO will play an important role in the SCO's development and it will play a constructive role in pushing for the improvement of their bilateral relations."

The SCO was originally formed to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighbouring Afghanistan.

Cheng said that the summit, to be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, would also discuss security in Afghanistan.

Beijing says separatist groups in the far western region of Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur minority, are seeking to form their own state called East Turkestan and have links with militants in Central Asia as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Read: Deepening partnership: Pakistan looks to Russia for satiating energy demand

China says that Uighur militants, operating at the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), has also been working with Islamic State.

"It can be said that ETIM certainly has links with the Islamic State, and has participated in relevant terrorist activities. China is paying close attention to this, and will have security cooperation with relevant countries," Cheng said.

COMMENTS (10)

K B Kale | 6 years ago | Reply Dont look anywhere else. Just look in the eye of the PM of your so-called 'evergreen' & 'Forever' friend. You are the second, your evergreen friend has already double-crossed USA.
Afzal | 6 years ago | Reply @G. Din: And why should Pakistan accept India in any set up? India denying China its due place or causing hurdles will only strengthen China-Pak ties and its consequences. Sitting in uncle Obama's lap is not going to help given the American economy becoming increasingly reliant on China. The fact that Chinese are getting more access to Europe while American influence has relatively declined tends to favour that view.
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