‘Ensure Disengagement’: Rajnath Singh Tells Chinese Counterpart
The Defence Minister’s Office tweeted shortly ahead of the meet.
Hours after China reportedly accused India of being “entirely” responsible for the border tension, Defence Ministry on Saturday, 5 September, in its statement, pushed for the restoration of the status quo and maintaining “peace and tranquillity” in the region.
The ministry asserted that while “Indian troops had always taken a very responsible approach towards border management, but at the same time there should also be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Singh is in Moscow to participate in a joint meeting of the Defence Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.
Defence Minister Pushes for Status Quo
During the over two hour long discussion with his Chinese counterpart in Moscow, Defence Minister Singh conveyed that the two sides should continue their discussions, including through “diplomatic and military channels to ensure complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquility along the LAC at the earliest.”
According to a statement released by his office, Singh said that the current situation should be handled responsibly and that neither side should take any further action that could either complicate the situation or escalate matters in the border areas.
Singh also pointed out that the actions of the Chinese troops were in violation of the bilateral agreement.
“The actions of the Chinese troops, including amassing of large number of troops, their aggressive behaviour and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo were in violation of the bilateral agreements,” the statement read.
Singh called for a “complete disengagement at the earliest” from all areas including Pangong Lake as per bilateral agreements and protocols.
China Says India Responsible for the Tension: Report
Earlier, India Today had reported that the Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe told the Indian delegation in Moscow that responsibility of border tension lies with India.
“The two sides should focus on the overall situation of Sino-Indian relations and regional peace and stability, work together and meet each other halfway, to promote the current situation to cool down as soon as possible, and to maintain peace and tranquillity in the Sino-Indian border area,” a statement from Chinese Defense statement said.
“We should maintain open channels for dialogue at all levels of the military and diplomacy between the two sides, and resolve issues peacefully through dialogue and consultation,” the statement added.
"It is hoped that the two sides will adopt a responsible attitude to achieve full disengagement of front-line forces as soon as possible, avoid taking measures that escalate or complicate the situation, prevent differences from becoming disputes, and push the relations between the two countries and the armed forces back on track as soon as possible," China's Defence Ministry said.
Diplomacy is Key: Jaishankar on Ladakh Situation
Pointing out that “our position in Ladakh has been very clear,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, on Thursday, 3 September, said it is was important for India and China to reach an “accommodation” for themselves, as well as the whole world.
According to news agency PTI, Jaishankar said that the solution to the border conflict between the two countries can be found in the domain of diplomacy.
Jaishankar was speaking at an online event for the launch of his new book The India Way: Strategies For An Uncertain World, which, he says, he wrote before the Galwan Valley clashes.
“I am also conscious that you have the situation that we have in border areas of the western sector (across Ladakh). Because we have the long (term) view, our position there has been very clear – we have agreements and understandings with China. The agreements and understandings must be scrupulously observed by both parties.”S Jaishankar, according to PTI
Stating that what happens at the border cannot be separated from the bilateral relationship between the two countries, Jaishankar said:
“I made this point a few days earlier in another context, I would say that I am totally convinced that a solution to the situation has to be found in the domain of diplomacy. And I say that with responsibility.”
Acknowledging that India-China relationship has not been in it’s best phase, Jaishankar, according to PTI, asserted that the two countries are going to enter the fourth industrial revolution – something that most other big civilisations had not been able to.
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