New Delhi: At this time of tensed situation in eastern Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday met his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow. Also Read - With no Respite at India-China Border, Indian Army Gets Combat Ready For Long Winters in Ladakh
Notably, it is the first high-level meeting between the two sides after the border row escalated in eastern Ladakh in early May. Also Read - China, India Must Not Unilaterally Change Border Situation Along LAC: MEA Insists Ahead of Bilateral Talks
As per updates, the focus of the talks between the two defence ministers was on ways to resolve the prolonged border standoff. Also Read - Sputnik V: World's First COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available to Public in Russia, Claim Reports
Peace in the region
In his address at the SCO ministerial meet, Singh has said peace and security in the region demands a climate of trust, non-aggression, peaceful resolution of differences and respect for international rules. The SCO is a eight-nation grouping.
Singh’s comments in the presence of the Chinese defence minister was seen as a veiled message to China over the border row in eastern Ladakh.
The development comes as the Chinese side had on Thursday requested the Indian side to arrange a meeting between the two defence ministers to hold talks on the sidelines of the SCO meeting. Singh and Wei are in Moscow to attend a meeting of the SCO defence ministers which took place earlier in the day.
The meeting between two defence ministers assumes significance in the backdrop of a tensed situation which escalated after the Indian and Chinese troops engaged in a bitter standoff in multiple places in eastern Ladakh.
Tensions flared up in the region after China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake five days ago when the two sides were engaged in diplomatic and military talks to resolve the festering border row.
To strengthen its presence, India has occupied a number of strategic points on the southern bank of Pangong lake and in Finger 2 and Finger 3 areas in the region to thwart any Chinese actions.
China has strongly objected to India’s move. India has, however, maintained that the strategic heights are on its side of the LAC.
India has also rushed in additional troops and weapons to the sensitive region following the Chinese attempts.
On the other hand, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane is currently on a two-day visit to Ladakh to carry out a comprehensive review of the security situation in the region in view of the Chinese attempts.