New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe Friday held a bilateral meeting in Moscow in a bid to ease tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. While the meeting was crucial to resolve the months-long border standoff, Jagran has learnt that the Chinese side was quite eager for it. In fact, Fenghe even got ready to go to the hotel where Rajnath Singh was staying when he came to know that the Indian side was not very keen on the meeting.

The Chinese side had proposed the bilateral meeting between the defence ministers of both the sides even before an Indian continent led by Rajnath Singh left for Russia to attend the ministerial meet of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). However, India only gave confirmation just 10 hours before the meeting actually took place.

According to sources, the Chinese defence minister behaved in a balanced manner during the meeting and said that he had sent three proposals to meet Rajnath Singh in the last 80 days. While this has not been confirmed by the Indian authorities, but it means that China had also offered talks when Rajnath Singh had gone to Russia to attend the Victory Parade in June this year.

During his meeting with Fenghe, Rajnath Singh pushed for complete disengagement of Chinese troops at the earliest from all friction points in Ladakh, including the Pangong Tso lake area where fresh clashes between the troops of both countries took place on August 30 and 31. Singh also emphasised that talks through diplomatic as well as military channels should continue to restore the peace and tranquillity along the LAC.

"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," the Ministry of Defence said in its statement put on Twitter.

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma