India-China Border Stand-off: Inside The First High Level Engagement Between Defence Ministers

“Both India and China should work under the direction of the understanding of their leaders to maintain peace at the border,” Rajnath Singh said.


Moscow| The defence ministers of India and China held a face-to-face meeting in Russia on Friday for the first time since the Galwan clash on June 15). The two-and-a-half-hour meeting took place on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting. The main issue of discussion was the border dispute. Rajnath Singh told Chinese Foreign Minister Wei Fenghe that there has been tension over the last few months on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), including the Galwan Valley clash. As per reports, he told his counterpart that China’s increasing its troops on the border shows aggressive behaviour which is a violation of the bilateral agreement.

Rajnath Singh also said that Indian forces have always shown restrained behaviour on the border. But it is also true that at the same time, there was no compromise on India’s sovereignty and defence of Indian borders. “Both sides should work under the direction of the understanding of their leaders so that peace can be maintained at the border. At the same time, both sides should not get involved in those things, which will aggravate the dispute,” reports quoted him as saying.

Also Read: “Must Continue Talks To Ensure Full Restoration Of Peace”: Rajnath Singh To His Chinese Counterpart

The defence minister told his counterpart that China should work closely with India soon, so that on the basis of the agreement and protocol in Ladakh, the troop movement on both sides from the disputed areas, such as the Pangong Lake area, could be initiated. Given the current situation, both sides should show responsibility and should not take any action that makes the situation more stressful.

The situation on China border tense since May

On May 15, Chinese soldiers attacked Indian jawans with barbed wire at Galwan Valley in Ladakh. 20 Indian soldiers were martyred. India claims 35 Chinese soldiers were also killed in retaliation, but the Chinese side has not confirmed it yet. There have been several military and official level talks between China and India in the past months to resolve the dispute, but China is not deterring from its antics.

75 days later, China infiltrates again

On 31 August, the Ministry of Defence issued a note on Monday. It says that China has again violated the status quo. According to the note, on the night of 29 August, Chinese forces attempted to infiltrate the Indian territory of eastern Ladakh. Indian troops foiled this attempt by Chinese soldiers. According to news agency ANI, earlier China also deployed its J-20 fighter plane near Ladakh. The Ministry of Defense also said that the Indian Army stopped the Chinese troops on the southern shore of Pangong Soo Lake.

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