New Delhi, Sep 5 : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Maj Gen Wei Fenghe on Saturday called for the peaceful settlement of the border dispute.
Both ministers are currently in Moscow to attend the meeting of defence ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) nations. The bilateral meeting was requested by Wei.
Mr Singh stressed the importance of ensuring peace and stability in the border area as well as keeping communications channels between diplomats and the military open.
The Minister hoped that the countries would manage to ensure the full separation of forces, avoid the steps that may de-escalate the situation as well as prevent the differences turning into conflicts.
In turn, Maj Gen Fenghe said, “The parties must scrupulously fulfill the important agreements reached by [Chinese] President Xi Jinping and [Indian] Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and firmly insist on the resolution of problems via dialogue and consultations.”
“The sides must take joint efforts and narrow their positions, promote the quick de-escalation of the current situation as well as ensure peace and stability near the Chinese-Indian border,” Chinese Defence Ministry quoted Wei.
Border conflicts are a permanent fixture of India-China relations, as the countries do not have a marked border but rather the Line of Actual Control, created after the 1962 war between the nations. However, the tensions became more strained as a result of skirmishes between the countries’ border forces starting in May.
The tension further exacerbated by a violent clash between the two sides on 15 June at Galwan Valley in Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed.
In order to normalise the situation, the commanders of the regional forces, as well as diplomats from both sides, conducted a series of negotiations resulting in the troops of both countries returning to their initial positions.