By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 4, 2020 6:28:07 pm
Rajnath Singh addressing a joint meeting of the Defence Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Moscow. (Source: Rajnath Singh/Twitter)
Addressing a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Moscow, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Friday underlined that a climate of trust, non-aggression, sensitivity towards each other and peaceful resolution of differences are among key aspects to ensure regional peace and stability.
His remarks came in the backdrop of a tense border standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers, which has been continuing along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for more than three-and-half months.
Notably, Singh made the comments in the presence of Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe, news agency PTI reported.
“Peaceful stable and secure region of SCO member states – which is home to over 40% of global population, demands a climate of trust and cooperation, non-aggression, respect for international rules and norms, sensitivity to each other’s interest&peaceful resolution of differences,” Singh said.
The defence minister also talked about the threat of terrorism and extremism and pitched for having institutional capacity to deal with the challenges.
Rajnath Singh at the joint meeting of the Defence Ministers of SCO, CIS and CSTO members.
“I reaffirm today that India is committed to the evolution of a global security architecture which will be open, transparent, inclusive, rules-based and anchored in international laws,” he said.
Tensions between the two countries flared up after Indian troops, thwarting Chinese moves in the Chushul sector, occupied dominating heights on the south bank of Pangong Tso and Rechin La near Rezang La on the intervening night of August 29 and August 30.
Troops also moved to strengthen positions at Finger 3 on the Pangong north bank, occupying heights west of Finger 4 where the Chinese continue to occupy the ridgeline after coming in 8 km from Finger 8 which India says marks the LAC.
These Indian moves, sources said, will help in military and diplomatic talks with the Chinese to resolve the border crisis which began early May. The talks have not made much headway since mid-July because of Chinese reluctance to complete the disengagement process at Pangong Tso north bank and Gogra Post. India has been seeking status quo ante — of troops on both sides returning to their April locations.
In light of recent developments, Chinese Defence Minister Fenghe has sought a meeting Friday with Singh on the sidelines of the SCO gathering of Defence Ministers.
With the Head of Delegations attending the SCO Defence Ministers’ meeting in Moscow.
Looking forward to productive deliberations. pic.twitter.com/CX7VJzjlmD
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) September 4, 2020
Sources had told The Indian Express Thursday night that South Block has given the go-ahead for Singh’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart, hoping it leads to “early and complete disengagement” as well as de-escalation along the LAC.
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SCO is an eight-nation regional grouping which primarily focuses on issues relating to security and defence. This was Singh’s second visit to Moscow since the border stand-off with China began in early May.
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