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Published On: Fri, Sep 4th, 2020

Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe is scheduled to meet Rajnath Singh in Moscow tonight

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rajnath-singhNEW DELHI : Amid heightened tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe is scheduled to meet Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in the Russian capital of Moscow on Friday night, according to top sources. The meeting is scheduled at 9.30 pm (IST) on Friday.
Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghi is believed to have asked for the meeting on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet in the Russian capital. The Chinese side reached out to the Indian mission for the meeting, said sources.
In the Russian capital of Moscow on Friday night, according to top sources. The meeting is scheduled at 9.30 pm (IST) on Friday. The talks will be held on the sidelines of a ministerial meet of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

It will be the first high-level meeting between the two sides after the border row escalated in eastern Ladakh in early May. Earlier, Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had held telephonic talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the row.
Singh and Wei are in Moscow to attend a meeting of the SCO defence ministers on Friday. India, Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are part of the SCO grouping.
Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in a tense border row in eastern Ladakh since May. In June, 20 soldiers laid down their lives for India in a clash with Chinese troops at Galwan valley. Over 40 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured.

Tension flared up again after Chinese troops tried to occupy territory in the south bank of Pangong Lake last Saturday and again on Monday. Indian forces were prepared and prevented these attempts to “unilaterally alter the status quo” at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the government said.

India has now taken control of a number of strategic heights in the region and has also rushed in additional troops and weapons following the Chinese attempts. The attempts were made even as the two nations were engaged in diplomatic and military talks to resolve the border row.
India had received a request from China for a meet with Rajnath Singh when he was in Moscow for victory day celebrations earlier this year. At that time no meeting had happened.
On August 31, the Indian Army had said the Chinese military carried out “provocative military movements” to “unilaterally” change the status quo on the southern bank of Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh on the intervening night of August 29 and 30 but the attempt was thwarted by the Indian troops.

Earlier, in an address at a meeting of the SCO, Singh asserted that a climate of trust, non-aggression, sensitivity towards each other and peaceful resolution of differences are among key aspects to ensuring regional peace and stability. Singh also referred to the Second World War, adding that its memories teach the globe the “folies of aggression” of one state upon another which brings “destruction” to all.

His comments came in the midst of a fierce border row between India and China, both members of the SCO, an eight-nation regional grouping which primarily focuses on issues relating to security and defence. Singh made the comments in the presence of Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe.

The Defence Minister is on an official visit to Moscow from September 3-5 at the invitation of Defence Minister of Russian Federation General Sergei Shoigu.
(With Agency Inputs ).

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