China agrees to import non-Basmati rice from India and submit Brahmaputra hydrological data

China agrees to import non-Basmati rice from India and submit Brahmaputra hydrological data

Qingdao, June 10 ( Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime  Minister Narendra Modi signed two agreements here on Saturday on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.  One is on the import of non-Basmati rice from India and the other is on the supply of hydrological data on the Brahmaputra river which flows from Tibet into India.

The agreement on non-Basmati rive would allow India to export non-Basmati rice to China. Beijing had earlier been denying access to non-Basmati rice, claiming that it failed to meet its norms.

India is the world’s largest rice exporter but sends a minuscule amount to China, which imports nearly five million tonnes annually for domestic consumption.

China has been stating that rice from India does not meet its “phyto-sanitary” concerns.

However, a Chinese source said that the market for non-Basmati Indian rice is not good in China as the common Chinese do not like the taste.

“Chinese prefer Basmati rice. They also like Thai rice which is competing with Basmati,” the Chinese source said.

Pact On Brahmaputra

The other agreement was on sharing hydrological data on the Brahmaputra river. The Brahmaputra originates in Tibet and flows into Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. For India, hydrological data is helpful in preparing for floods in the Northeast.

Under a previous agreement, Beijing is supposed to share the river data, but it stopped last year after the two armies had a 73-day faceoff at Doklam in the Indian eastern sector

Building on the momentum from the informal summit in the Chinese city of Wuhan six weeks ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit.

The two sides also held discussions on other bilateral issues affecting the two countries.

“Met this year’s SCO host, President Xi Jinping, this evening. We had detailed discussions on bilateral and global issues. Our talks will add further vigor to the India-China friendship,” Modi said in a tweet.

The SCO summit it is scheduled to take place on Sunday, with talks expected to focus on terrorism and security.

This is the first time India is participating in the summit as a full-time member of the SCO. India, along with Pakistan, became full-time members during the 2017 summit in Kazakhstan.

Modi is on a two-day visit to China, as part of which he will hold multiple meetings with other SCO leaders.

After the deliberations, the member-countries, including Russia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, are expected to sign the Qingdao Declaration that will contain details for creating significant mechanisms to resist terror activities around the globe.

(The featured image at the top shows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Qingdao on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Orgainzation summit Qingdao)