NEW DELHI :
Senior military commanders of India and China are expected to sit down for talks later this week to defuse tensions along multiple points on their 3,488 kilometre long border, Defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.
The meeting on Saturday will be another attempt to stabilize the border after tensions running high for the past three weeks between India and China along the LAC, with reports of physical clashes between troops across Ladakh and Sikkim.
Troops of both countries have been engaged in a standoff in Ladakh for over three weeks at Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok, and Daulat Beg Oldie.
The trigger for the face-off was China’s opposition to India building a road around the Pangong Tso lake and another link road connecting the Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley, which lies close to the LAC. India has been building border infrastructure in recent years, but is still behind China, which has motorable roads till LAC.
Speaking to TV18 News Network, Singh said that every year tensions erupted between India and China.
“You must have seen that there is hardly a year when there is no face-off between the two armies. Sometimes tensions have resulted in the snatching of fire arms. I think that China too needs to think about this seriously, that this problem needs to be sorted out completely,” Singh said.
In the recent crisis, the Chinese have been claiming that in their perception “their border is at a particular place. We are saying it is at another place and because of this, there is a difference of opinion. Their forces have come in, in good number and we have sent our troops there in sufficient numbers too,” Singh said.
In the past too, there has been dialogue at the military and diplomatic levels that has yielded a solution, the minister said.
“I have been told that there will be talks at the level of top military commanders on 6 June” to sort out this problem,” Singh said.
The minister refused to describe China as an enemy but described it as a neighbour.
India has a clear policy. It will not target the dignity of another country nor will it allow its own dignity to be hurt,” Singh said.