Rajnath Singh Meets Chinese Defence Minister Amid Border Dispute

Rajnath Singh Meets Chinese Defence Minister Amid Border Dispute

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday pushed for "restoration of status quo at all friction points in eastern Ladakh" during talks with his Chinese counterpart Gen. Wei Fenghe in Moscow, a PTI report stated.

The focus of the talks that lasted nearly two and a half hours was on ways to resolve the prolonged border standoff, sources said to PTI.

"The meeting between Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh and Chinese Defence Minister, General Wei Fenghe in Moscow is over. The meeting lasted for 2 hours and 20 minutes," Singh's office tweeted.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has previously held telephonic talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the border standoff, it said.

Sources said the Indian delegation strongly objected to Chinese army's fresh attempts to change the status quo in the southern bank of Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh and insisted on resolution of the standoff through talks.

The Indian side wanted restoration of status quo ante at all friction points in eastern Ladakh, the sources said.

Both Singh and Wei are in Moscow to attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) defence ministers which took place earlier in the day.

Hours before the talks, Singh, in his address at the SCO ministerial meet, said peace and security in the region demands a climate of trust, non-aggression, peaceful resolution of differences and respect for international rules.

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.

In his address, Singh referred to the Second World War and said its memories teach the globe the "folies of aggression" of one state upon another that brings "destruction" to all.

"Peaceful stable and secure region of SCO member states, which is home to over 40 per cent of the global population, demands a climate of trust and cooperation, non-aggression, respect for international rules and norms, sensitivity to each other's interest and peaceful resolution of differences," Singh said.

The meeting took place amid heightened tensions between the two countries triggered by China's fresh attempts to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake, the PTI report added.

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