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China acted unilaterally, violated pacts: Rajnath Singh | India News

NEW DELHI: India and China agreed to refrain from taking any further military action that may increase tensions in eastern Ladakh, but there was no tangible progress to resolve the more than four-month-old military confrontation during a meeting between Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and its Chinese counterpart. , Gen Wei Fenghe, in Moscow on Friday.
At the first such political meeting since the fighting began, Singh told Wei that India would not give up an inch of its territory and protect its sovereignty at all costs.
Wei, in turn, said the responsibility for the current tensions lies “entirely” with the Indian side. There could be a more substantial outcome at the meeting between Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his counterpart, Wang Yi, on September 10.
But amid all the muscle signal, the two sides agreed to continue working through diplomatic and military channels to disconnect and de-escalate throughout LAC in line with the “consensus” between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping to maintain peace and quiet in the border region.
In the 140-minute meeting, Singh categorically said that the PLA’s “aggressive actions and behaviors” in trying to “unilaterally alter the status quo” violated all bilateral agreements. According to Xinhua, Wei said, “China’s territory cannot be lost, and the Chinese military is fully determined, capable and confident to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
With winter fast approaching in eastern Ladakh, both sides would want a way out of the stalemate, although the stakes in terms of perceptions about “stepping back” have increased after the PLA halted the disengagement process. Gen Wei, a PLA veteran, came to the hotel Singh was staying at and is understood to have mentioned how he had sought discussion no less than three times before.
China, in fact, had lobbied for the Defense ministerial meeting after Indian troops carried out a pre-emptive military maneuver last weekend to occupy multiple heights in the Chushul sector, from the southern shore of Pangong Tso and Spanggur Gap to Rezang La and Reqin La.
The move has given India some negotiating leverage for the first time in the ongoing negotiations. At Friday’s meeting, India was adamant that China restored the status quo as it existed in April by withdrawing its forces from Pangong Tso, Gogra and Depsang, while reducing its military buildup throughout LAC.
Singh told his counterpart that there should be no question about the troops’ determination to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.

Times of India

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