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Rajnath says China should work for complete disengagement from all friction areas
New Delhi, September 5, 2020
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe during a meeting in Moscow on Friday the Chinese side should work with the Indian side for complete disengagement at the earliest from all friction areas, including Pangong Lake, as well as for de-escalation in border areas.
He said this should be done in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols on maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas.
The Chinese side should strictly respect and observe the line of actual control and should not make attempts to unilaterally change the status quo, he said.
Rajnath Singh made it clear that the actions of the Chinese troops, including amassing of large number of troops, their aggressive behaviour and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo, were in violation of the bilateral agreements and not in keeping with the understandings reached between the Special Representatives of two sides.
The meeting took place at the request of the Chinese Defence Minister on the sidelines of the meeting of the Defence Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
An official press release said that Rajnath Singh category conveyed India's position on the developments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), including in the Galwan Valley in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas in the last few month.
"The two Ministers had frank and in-depth discussions about the developments in the India-China border areas as well as on India-China relations," an official press release said here today.
According to it, Rajnath Singh stated clearly that the Indian troops had always taken a very responsible approach towards border management but, at the same time, there should also be no doubt about India's determination to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Wei, who is also State Councillor, said that both sides should scrupulously implement the consensus reached between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping and continue to solve the issues through dialogue and consultation, strictly follow the various bilateral agreements, strengthen the regulation of frontline troops and not undertake any provocative actions that might escalate the situation.
The two sides should focus on the overall situation of India-China relations and work together to de-escalate the situation as soon as possible, and maintain peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas, he said.
The Chinese Defence Minister suggested that both sides should maintain communication at all levels including between the two Ministers.
Rajnath Singh said that both sides should take guidance from the consensus of the leaders that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas was essential for the further development of their bilateral relations and that the two sides should not allow differences to become disputes.
Accordingly, the two sides should resolve the ongoing situation and outstanding issues in the border areas peacefully through dialogue, he said.
The Chinese Defence Minister conveyed that the Chinese side, too, desired to resolve the issues peacefully.
Rajnath Singh said 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 conveyed that the two sides should continue their discussions, including through diplomatic and military channels, to ensure complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquillity along the LAC at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government in a statement said that Gen Wei Fenghe stated that relations between the two countries and the two militaries had been severely affected by the border issue.
"The cause and truth of the current tension on the border between China and India are very clear, and the responsibility lies entirely with India," the Chinese government stated.
It also pointed out that China's territory cannot be lost, and the Chinese military is fully determined, capable, and confident to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.