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As G7 feuds, Xi and Putin play up their own club

AFP  |  Qingdao 

The leaders of and today praised the expansion of their regional security bloc at a which put on a show of unity contrasting with the acrimonious meeting.

Founded in 2001, the also includes the former Central Asian Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and

Iran's Hassan Rouhani, whose country is an observer member, also attended the meeting as he seeks Chinese and Russian support following the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with

Warning that "unilateralism, trade protectionism and a backlash against globalisation are taking new forms", spoke up for the "pursuit of cooperation for mutual benefit".

While never mentioning the by name, he added: "We should reject the Cold War mentality and confrontation between blocs, and oppose the practice of seeking absolute security of oneself at the expense of others, so as to obtain security of all." Xi, whose government is locked in tough negotiations with the to avoid a trade war, said Trade Organisation rules and the multilateral trading system should be upheld to build an open economy.

"We should reject self-centred, shortsighted and closed-door policies," said Xi, whose own country has been accused of restricting broad access for foreign firms to its huge market.

Addressing the leaders seated, Russian said the addition of and means that the organisation "has become even stronger".

While feted his peers with fireworks, members have their own disagreements, with concerned about China's trade infrastructure project in disputed territory in arch-rival and had their own heated border dispute in the Himalayas last year.

But no disharmony was evident during the two-day in

The show of unity was in stark contrast to the calamitous end to the meeting in Quebec City, after US disowned a joint statement and lambasted Canadian as "dishonest" and "weak".

In Qingdao, touted security cooperation -- the original raison d'etre of the SCO -- and announced that would open a 30 billion yuan ($4.7 billion) special lending facility within the bloc's interbank consortium.

Putin said trade and investment among SCO countries was growing and and China would propose a Eurasian economic partnership for all member states.

With the president of aspiring full member looking on, Putin said still supports the nuclear deal that Trump recently abandoned.

The US withdrawal, he said, "can further destabilise the situation" but is in favour of the "unconditional implementation" of the pact.

Putin, however, voiced his support for Trump's summit with North Korean leader in on Tuesday.

For his part, Rouhani said the "US effort to impose its policies on others is an expanding danger".

Rouhani said the US was monitoring the global reaction to its withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and a weak response would encourage it to carry on acting unilaterally.

"This will have many harmful consequences for the global community," he said.

The Iranian president said his country was ready to cooperate with the SCO against terrorism, extremism and separatism.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, June 10 2018. 14:30 IST
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