In a tough message to China on its recent border violations, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has clearly conveyed to his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe that China must strictly respect the Line of Actual Control and not make attempts to unilaterally change its status quo. Rajnath also firmly asserted that India is determined to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, officials said in a report by a news agency.
In the first highest level face-to-face contact between the two sides after border tension erupted in eastern Ladakh in early May, Singh and Wei met for two hours and 20 minutes in Moscow on Friday evening on the sidelines of a meeting of the defence ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Officials said Singh conveyed to his Chinese counterpart that the current situation should be handled responsibly, and that neither side should take any further action that could either complicate the situation or escalate matters in the border areas.
He told Wei that the actions by the Chinese troops, including amassing a large number of troops, their aggressive behaviour and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo were in violation of the bilateral agreements, the officials said.
Singh also underlined that the two sides should continue their discussions, including through diplomatic and military channels, to ensure “complete disengagement and de-escalation” along the LAC at the earliest.
Singh conveyed to his Chinese counterpart that both sides should take guidance from the consensus of the leaders of the two countries that maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas was essential for further development of ties and that the two sides should not allow differences to become disputes.