SCO Meeting – Another Photo-Op for Modi and Gang

Indian PM was Treated Like Just Another of Xi’s Cronies

Most conclaves are avenues for the leaders to toy with their individual fixations, a fetish that is dear to each, and mere photo opportunities.

No, I am not predicting the outcome of the Trump-Kim summit that gets under way in Singapore tomorrow morning.

This is my own indulgence – letting off steam on events that have little meaning. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) caucus that concluded yesterday, for instance, showcased Chinese leader Xi Jinping as the King with a lifelong crown with the rest merely his cronies.

The wide range of photographs available online, both formal and informal, from the SCO event, is testament to the media mileage the leaders got out of it. Great photo-ops for each of them – not much else.

Modi at SCO Meet

Modi Pushed to the Edge: Here is a photograph from today’s edition of The Straits Times that shows Indian and Pakistani leaders at the two ends of the line, with Narendra Modi appearing to sport a frown – perhaps unhappy he did not get to stand next to the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping.

Xi’s message: “We should reject selfish, short-sighted, narrow and closed-off policies. We must maintain the rules of the World Trade Organization.”

As if China will do that if it was shortchanged by the rest of the world. China has a trade imbalance with the U.S. and almost every country it does business with.

Did China honour the ruling of the international tribunal at The Hague against its claims on South China Sea islands? It unilaterally declared the ruling null and void, with some of China’s friends, including in the media, saying the communist power was right in its rejection of The Hague verdict.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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