China’s aggressive behaviour violates bilateral agreement: Rajnath Singh to Chinese Defence Minister

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe that China’s aggressive behaviour is in violation of bilateral agreements between the two countries.

Both defence ministers sat down for a joint meeting accompanied by high-level delegations in Moscow on Friday. Singh and Fenghe are in Russia for the meeting of member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

As per a statement released on Indian Defence Ministry’s official Twitter handle, Rajnath Singh 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 months.

“Raksha Mantri emphasised that the actions of the Chinese troops, including amassing of a large number of troops, their aggressive behaviour and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo were in violation of the bilateral agreements,” said the statement.

The meeting lasted for 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Singh stated clearly that “while 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 our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The statement added, “Raksha Mantri said 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 bilateral relations & that 2 sides should not allow differences to become disputes”.

The Defence Minister also emphasised on diplomatic channels.

“Raksha Mantri 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,” said the statement from Defence Ministry’s Office.

Rajnath Singh further 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.

“Raksha Mantri advised that it was important therefore that Chinese side should work with the Indian side for complete disengagement at the earliest from all friction areas including Pangong Lake as well as de-escalation in border areas in accordance with the bilateral agreements & protocols,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, according to China’s Ministry of Defence, Wei Fenghe told Singh during their meeting in Moscow that “responsibility (of recent events in Ladakh) lies entirely with India”.

“China’s territory cannot be lost, and the Chinese military is fully determined, capable, and confident to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Both sides should earnestly implement the important consensus reached by Chairman Jinping and Prime Minister Modi and insist on solving problems through dialogue and consultation,” the Chinese Ministry of Defence went on to say.

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