Moscow/New Delhi, Sep 4 (PTI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Gen. Wei Fenghe held talks in Moscow on Friday on ways to ease escalating border tension in eastern Ladakh, government sources said.
It is the first high-level meeting between the two sides after the border row erupted along the Line of Actual Control(LAC) in eastern Ladakh in early May though External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held separate telephonic talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to resolve the standoff.
The focus of the talks between the two defence ministers was on ways to resolve the prolonged border standoff, the sources said.
The meeting was requested by the Chinese defence minister, they said.
Both Singh and Wei are in Moscow to attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) defence ministers which took place earlier in the day.
Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in a bitter standoff in multiple places in eastern Ladakh.
Tensions flared up again in the region after China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake five days ago when the two sides were engaged in diplomatic and military talks to resolve the border row.
India occupied a number of strategic heights on the southern bank of Pangong lake and strengthened its presence in Finger 2 and Finger 3 areas in the region to thwart any Chinese actions.
China has strongly objected to India's move. India has, however, maintained that the strategic heights are on its side of the LAC.
India has also rushed in additional troops and weapons to the sensitive region following China's transgression attempts.
In his address at the SCO ministerial meet, Singh said peace and security in the region demands a climate of trust, non-aggression, peaceful resolution of differences and respect for international rules. The SCO is a eight-nation grouping.
Singh's comments in the presence of the Chinese defence minister was seen as a veiled message to China over the border row in eastern Ladakh.
Minister Jaishankar is also scheduled to travel to Moscow next week to attend a meeting of the foreign ministers of the SCO on September 10. He is expected to have a meeting with Wang Yi on the sidelines of this meeting. PTI MPB GSN GSN GSN GSN