In a meeting that lasted two and a half hours in Moscow, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that the recent incidents in eastern Ladakh have inevitably impacted the development of bilateral relations, and therefore, an urgent resolution of the current situation was in the interest of both nations, sources told CNN-News18.
However, the Chinese side issued a statement saying that the "Indian side does not consider the bilateral relations to be dependent on the situation at the border". Though it did acknowledge that the two are "large developing countries" so what China and India "need right now is cooperation not confrontation." This is a point India has been trying to drive through.
Sources pointed out that while India recognized that a solution to the boundary question required time and effort, it was also clear that the maintenance of peace and tranquility on the border areas was essential to the forward development of ties.
Also significantly, India issued a joint press release, unlike China. It said that the current situation is not in the interest of either side, and the border troops should continue dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions.
As per sources, the Indian side expressed its strong concern at the massing of Chinese troops with equipment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). India stated that the presence of such large concentration of troops was not in accordance with the 1993 and 1996 Agreements and created flash points along the LAC. Sources said the Chinese side has not provided a credible explanation for this deployment.
The Chinese side said that foreign minister Wang Yi said it was normal for India and China to have differences as neighbours and that relations have once again come to a cross roads. But challenges can be overcome.
But it appears China still tried to take a position on the current crisis as one where they have been wronged as their note said that Wang outlined China's stern position on the border situation and said it is imperative that provocations should be stopped including firing.
However, India confronted China over these allegations. The Indian side said that the provocative behaviour of Chinese frontline troops at numerous incidents of friction along the LAC also showed disregard for bilateral agreements and protocols.
The Indian side clearly conveyed that it expected full adherence to all agreements on management of border areas and would not countenance any attempt to change the status quo unilaterally, as per sources.
The two sides agreed that once the current situation eases they should expedite work to conclude new confidence building measures to maintain peace and enhance peace and tranquility in border areas.