External affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Foreign Ministers’ meet in Moscow today. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 6 pm. This comes in the backdrop of border tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The bilateral meeting will be first between Jaishankar and Wang since the standoff in Ladakh sector began in May. The two leaders spoke on phone on June 17, two days after the deadly clash in Galwan Valley.
Ahead of his departure for Russia External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday said the state of the border with China cannot be de-linked from the state of the overall relationship with the neighbouring country. The external affairs minister also described the situation in eastern Ladakh as “very serious” which he said calls for “very very deep conversation” between the two sides at a political level.
India and China have been engaged in a standoff since April-May over the transgressions by the Chinese Army in multiple areas including the Finger area, Galwan Valley, Hot springs and Kongrung Nala. The situation worsened after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in violent clashes with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in June.
Last Friday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of the SCO dialogue in Moscow that attempts by Chinese troops to unilaterally alter the status quo along the LAC was in violation of the bilateral agreements, and Beijing should work with New Delhi for complete disengagement from all friction areas including Pangong Tso.