File photo: Rajnath Singh Photograph:( ANI )
India had received a request from China for a meet with Rajnath Singh when he was in Moscow for victory day celebrations earlier this year
Amidst heightened India, China tensions, defence ministers of both the countries will meet in Moscow in few hours from now on the sidelines of the Shanghai cooperation organisation or SCO meet.
Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe had requested for a meet with Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh. Both the defence ministers are in Moscow for the SCO defence minister meeting. India, Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are part of the SCO grouping.
This will be the first high-level physical meeting between the two sides amidst tension. Earlier foreign minister of both countries — External Affairs minister S Jaishankar and FM Wang Yi and special representatives on border issues — NSA Doval and FM Wang Yi had telephonic chat and virtual meet.
Tensions are high between the two countries. Last four months saw Galwan incident on June 15 in which India lost 20 of its soldiers. China also suffered casualties but has been mum on the number.
India had received a request from China for a meet with Rajnath Singh when he was in Moscow for victory day celebrations earlier this year. At that time no meeting had happened.
Earlier on Thursday India had said the ongoing situation at the line of actual control in Eastern Ladakh is due to "direct result of action" by China.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said,"It is clear that the situation we witness over the past four months is a direct result of the actions taken by the Chinese side that sought to effect unilateral change of status quo."
Both sides are engaging at the diplomatic and military level with ground commanders meeting on a daily basis but without any outcome.