China on Monday said the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit is not a forum to target a country, in an apparent reference to India's likelihood to slam Islamabad on terror at the event to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
During his first foreign visit to the Maldives after being re-elected as India's Prime Minister, Modi on Saturday indirectly attacked Pakistan, saying state sponsorship of terrorism is the biggest threat the world is facing today.
Modi is likely to raise the issue at this week's summit as part of India's strategy to isolate Pakistan at multilateral forums.
"In every summit, the institutional building of the SCO will be discussed that would involve economic cooperation and security cooperation particularly on counter-terrorism," said China's Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui.
"Security and development are two major issues of focus for the SCO. The establishment of the SCO is not to target any certain country, but the summit of this level will certainly pay attention to major international relation and regional issues," Zhang said in an indirect reference to Pakistan while replying to a question if multilateralism would be the fulcrum of the discussion at the event.
Zhang was addressing a press conference ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping attending the 19th SCO summit in Kyrgyzstan's Bishkek and the fifth version of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan.
Modi will meet Xi on the sidelines of the summit from June 12 to June 14 in Bishkek where he will not meet Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, citing Islamabad funding anti-India terrorists.
India and Pakistan were admitted to the Chinese-led security bloc in 2017.
China has long shielded Pakistan on terrorism, saying the South Asian nation itself is a "victim of the menace" and has done a "tremendous job in wiping out terrorists". This frustrates India and is one of the sore points in its ties with China.
Talking to journalists, Zhang also said the US' trade protectionist policy will figure at the event.
"As for the ongoing unilateralist, protectionist and bullying practices in the world, I think they are close to the hearts of all countries.
"We have not set an agenda as such beforehand, but I think some participating countries will be interested in this topic. Some leaders will express their views on these matters. It is only natural to see that happening," he added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)