Rajnath Singh Meets Chinese Defence Minister in Moscow Amid Border Tension in Ladakh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday met his Chinese partner in Moscow, where both are going to a three-day event, in the primary elevated level contact of its sort since a genuine stalemate ejected between the two nations in Ladakh in May.

Chinese defence minister General Wei Fenghe had requested for a meet with Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh. Both the defence ministers are in Moscow for the SCO defence minister meeting.  India, Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are part of the SCO grouping.

Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and Indian Ambassador to Russia D B Venkatesh Varma were part of the Indian delegation at the talks that began at around 9:30 pm Indian time at a prominent hotel in Moscow.

Both India and China are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO, an eight-nation regional grouping that primarily focuses on security and defence issues.

Talks between military officials of the two countries have achieved little since the deadly clash in June. The latest escalation in hostilities came after a brief pullback by the two sides in some areas. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has also held talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the phone.

India had received a request from China for a meet with Rajnath Singh when he was in Moscow for victory day celebrations earlier this year. At that time no meeting had happened.

Earlier on Thursday, India had said the ongoing situation at the line of actual control in Eastern Ladakh is due to “direct result of action” by China.

Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said,” It is clear that the situation we witness over the past four months is a direct result of the actions taken by the Chinese side that sought to effect unilateral change of status quo”.

Both sides are engaging at the diplomatic and military level with ground commanders meeting on a daily basis but without any outcome.

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