In a significant development Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday met his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) defence ministers meet. According to a defence ministry source, the two leaders met at 9:30 PM IST.
It needs to be mentioned that the Chinese side sought the meeting between the two defence ministers a day earlier. External Affairs minister S Jaishankar also confirmed that he would meet his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meet in Moscow on September 10.
The Friday meeting and the one to take place later on Sep 10 are being interpreted as a major move to break the deadlock on India-China border in Ladakh. Tension is mounting ever since the clashes between the armies of the two countries took place which led to the killing of at least 20 Indian soldiers on June 15. Several PLA personnel also lost their lives but their number could not be known.
The Chinese had then captured 10 Indian soldiers, including fou officers. They were later released. Rajnath had visited Moscow on June 24 to attend the function to mark the 75th year of the end of World War-II in Europe. Addressing the meeting, Mr. Singh stressed the importance of the SCO bloc, which is home to over 40% of the global population.
He laid emphasis on the significance of trust and cooperation, non-aggression and respect for international rules as far as the member countries of the bloc are concerned. The meetings between the defence and external affairs ministers are been seen as a part of diplomatic offensive by India to settle the issue.