Chinese President Xi to attend and deliver speech at SCO summit via video link

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend and deliver a speech at a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit via video link on July 4, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

India, as the presiding country of this year’s SCO Council of Heads of State summit, announced in May that it would hold the event in a virtual format.

The bloc’s defense and foreign ministers have attended face-to-face meetings in India this year.

The SCO is a political and security union of countries spanning much of Eurasia, including China, India and Russia.

Formed in 2001 by Russia, China and the former Soviet states of Central Asia, the body has been expanded to include India and Pakistan, with a view to playing a greater role in counterbalancing Western influence in the region.

Kazakhstan will take over the SCO presidency after the July summit.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo and Ethan Wang; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Gerry Doyle)

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