- Rajnath Singh and Chinese counterpart to meet over Ladakh tension
- This is the first political contact between the two countries over the military tension in Ladakh
- The border tension has remained as it is since the past four months
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghi will meet on the sidelines of a key Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meet in Moscow on the coming Friday, amidst the heightened military tensions between the two countries in eastern Ladakh.
This will be the first major political contact between the two countries since the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) one-sidedly changed the status quo on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) earlier in May 2020 in east Ladakh.
A report from an Indian news agency said, “The Chinese side had conveyed to the Indian mission its keenness to have a meeting between the two defence ministers, hoping for a resolution to the border standoff, and the Indian side has accepted the proposal.”
The report added that both “Singh and Wei are currently in Moscow to attend a meeting of SCO defence ministers on Friday.”
It was earlier reported that the South block has also given go-ahead to the meeting between Singh and his Chinese counterpart.
This meeting was arranged at the request of both sides mutually, in order to find a way out of the current standoff in Ladakh with both the Indian Army and the PLA deployed in full strength to counter one another.
This comes even when S Jaishankar, the External Affairs Minister of Indian, on Thursday, underlined that he was “totally convinced” that a solution to the LAC needs to be found from diplomacy adding “And I say that with responsibility.”
It has been almost 4 years now that the Indian and Chinese soldiers have been engaged in a tense border row in the Eastern Ladakh.
Tension at the Eastern Ladakh flared again when China, unsuccessfully, made another attempt to occupy the Indian territory in the Southern Bank of Pangong Lake 4 days ago when the 2 sides were engaged in diplomacy and military talks to resolve the border row.
To counter the Chinese army, the Indian army occupied several strategic heights on the southern bank of Pangong lake and strengthened its presence at Finger 2 and Finger 3 areas in this region to prevent any further actions from the Chinese.
China has strongly condemned this move from India. However, India has also rushed in additional troops and weapons to the sensitive region following the Chinese attempts.
On Thursday, India said that the tension of the border in Ladakh over the last 4 months is a “direct result” of the Chinese actions aimed at effecting the unilateral change in the status quo of this region, and further asserted that the only way forward to resolve this is through negotiations.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) made comments in which it squarely put the blame on China for the ongoing border tension which came even as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen.
Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, asserted that India’s armed forces are fully capable of handling aggressive Chinese actions in the “best suitable ways”.