New Delhi: Amid reports of China preparing to wage a war while de-escalation talks are underway for complete disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the discussions between the two countries are ‘ something confidential’. Also Read - Captured Chinese Soldier Who Strayed Into Ladakh Handed Over by Indian Army

Refusing to “prejudge” the border situation, Jaishankar said the “discussions are going on and it is a work in progress.” Also Read - Violations of Law Cannot by Condoned: MEA Responds to UN Human Rights Chief's NGO Curbs Remark

“…what is going on is something confidential between us and the Chinese.” the minister asserted while speaking at the Bloomberg India Economic Forum when pressed to give a clear status of the border situation. Also Read - COVID-19 Vaccine Update: China’s Sinovac Vaccine Appears Safe in Late-stage Clinical Trial

“There is not very much that I am in a position to say in public. I certainly do not want to prejudge it,” he added.

Earlier today, the MEA rebuffed China’s contention that it does not recognise the union territory of Ladakh as well as the state of Arunachal Pradesh and said that it had “no locus standi” to comment on India’s internal matters.

“The union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are and would remain an integral part of India. China has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal matters. Arunachal Pradesh is also an integral and inalienable part of India. This fact has also been clearly conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions, including at the highest level,” said MEA spokesperson Srivastava.

More than six months into a face-off at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, China has reportedly increased its military base at multiple friction points as it gears up for the harsh winters.

Remarkably, the Chinese President was even quoted as telling his soldiers to “put all their minds and energy on preparing for war.” It was, however, not clear whether the rally was aimed at India or the US, two countries China is engaged in a tense standoff with.

During the 7th round of Corps Commander-level meeting, India pressed for an early and complete disengagement of troops and de-escalation by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from all points in eastern Ladakh.

While the two sides decided to keep their discussions going further, take practical measures to properly solve problems on the ground, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border area, talks have remained inconclusive so far.