New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid escalating tensions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar will meet his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday with a focus on ways to reduce tensions in the region.

The two leaders will meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Thursday in Russia’s Moscow. This will be the second such meeting between India and China after the tensions between the two sides increased in eastern Ladakh. 

Earlier, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had also met his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of the SCO meet in Moscow and stressed that talks should continue through diplomatic as well as military channels to full restoration of peace and tranquillity along the LAC.

During his meeting with the Chinese Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh further stressed 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”.

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"RM advised that it was important therefore that 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 de-escalation in border areas in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols," the Defence Ministry had said in a statement earlier.

What can we expect from the meeting?

It is expected that the two leaders will likely discuss the current situation between India and China and will speak about ways to reduce tensions across the LAC. Jaishankar had also spoken with Yi earlier after the violent Galwan Valley clash that claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers, including a Colonel rank officer.

Ahead of his departure to Moscow, Jaishankar had recently said that there is a “need for political contacts to reduce tensions and end the stalemate in the disengagement process” between troops of India and China, adding that the serious situation calls for “very deep conversations...at a political level”.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has said that Yi will attend the luncheon meeting for the Chinese, Russian and Indian foreign ministers and have declined to give details about Jaishankar and Yi’s meeting.

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“During [the SCO] meeting...Wang Yi will discuss with foreign ministers of other member states of the SCO cooperation amid Covid-19 and exchange views on major international and regional issues,” the Chinese government had said in a statement.

Tensions have increased between India and China over the last few months. The two sides have held several bilateral and military level talks but the tensions have continued to rise across the region. Recently, China had once again unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong Lake on the intervening night of August 29 and 30 which flared up the tensions again. 

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma