Sunday, 21 October 2018

China’s Xi hails ‘unity’ of security bloc led with Russia

Xi Jinping

QINGDAO: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday opened a regional security summit attended by Russia and Iran with boasts of the bloc’s “unity”, just as a fractious G7 gathering was mired in divisions between Europe and the US.

On the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in the coastal Chinese city of Qingdao, Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani and expressed his support for Tehran joining the SCO.

Rouhani, for his part, denounced the “illegal” US withdrawal from the international nuclear deal with Tehran.

Russia also underlined its common vision with China to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis through peaceful dialogue as US President Donald Trump prepares for a historic summit Tuesday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Iran, currently an observer member of the SCO, has sought since 2008 to become a full member of the China- and Russia-led security group.

SCO states also include four ex-Soviet central Asian republics and new members Pakistan and India.

Xi spoke at an opening banquet in the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center before taking in a fireworks display.

Standing before a serene seascape painting, he hailed the bloc’s guiding “Shanghai spirit”, which “focuses on seeking common ground while setting aside differences and pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation.”

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