There is a “big probability” that Indian and Chinese defence ministers will meet in Moscow amid renewed border tensions, the editor-in-chief of influential Chinese newspaper Global Times said on Friday.
The news comes from Hu Xijin, who is is a Chinese journalist and editor of the Global Times, a state-owned tabloid in the People’s Republic of China.
First high-level meeting between two sides after border tensions
It will be the first high-level meeting between the two sides after the border row escalated in eastern Ladakh in early May through External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held telephonic talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the row.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe on Friday evening in Moscow on the sidelines of a ministerial meet of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), government sources said. This comes after China had warned that “talks are the only way forward.”
Hu Xijin said on his official account on Twitter that arrangements for such a meeting between China’s Wei Fenghe and India’s Rajnath Singh “has made progress”, without citing sources.
Will the Chinese and Indian defense ministers meet in Moscow? Based on what I know, this arrangement between the two sides has made progress. The meeting between Wei Fenghe and Rajnath Singh has a big probability to be held.
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) September 4, 2020
The two men are expected to be attending a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation member countries’ defence ministers in the Russian capital.
India, China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are the eight-member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Both India and China are members of the SCO, an eight-nation regional grouping which primarily focuses on issues relating to security and defence.
“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.
He made the comments in the presence of Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe.
Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in a bitter standoff in multiple places in eastern Ladakh for four months. Tensions flared up in the region after China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake five days back.
China’s media has alleged that the reason for India’s aggressive behaviour may come from the government trying to take away attention from India’s suffering economy.
Indian troops severely violated the consensus, Chinese Foreign Ministry
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was quoted by China’s Global Times as saying, “Despite China and India’s close communication via diplomatic and military channels aimed at easing border tensions, the Indian troops on Monday severely violated the consensus reached in the two countries’ army commander-level talks on June 6, as they crossed the border twice for illegal activities and launched provocative attacks against Chinese personnel, leading to serious physical conflicts between troops from both sides.”
Lijian added, “China has lodged solemn representations with the Indian side and urged it to strictly restrain its frontline troops from crossing the border or taking any unilateral action that may complicate the border situation.”
Senior Indian and Chinese military personnel have been holding talks since May after Indian soldiers moved into the Galway valley. Indian and Chinese armies had also begun a process of “disengaging” from the standoff points in Ladakh.
GVS News Desk