On April 4, the SCO defense ministers’ meeting was held in Moscow. It is reported that on the evening of the 4th, Wei Fenghe, Chinese State Councilor and defense minister, and Indian Defense Minister Singh held a meeting. In view of the long-standing military confrontation on the border between China and India, the meeting has attracted great attention from the outside world. Indian media said the meeting was the first face-to-face meeting between leaders of the two sides at the highest level since the outbreak of fierce conflict in the Galvan Valley in June, which will have positive significance for the resolution of the current Sino Indian border confrontation.
As for the highly concerned Sino Indian defense ministers’ meeting, the Indian media quoted “sources” two days ago as saying that the meeting with Chinese defense ministers was not on Singh’s agenda, and the meeting between Chinese and Indian defense ministers in Moscow might be “difficult”. It is worth noting that the Hindustan Times quoted “people familiar with Moscow and New Delhi affairs” as saying that the meeting was arranged at the joint request of both sides. Earlier, Indian media said the meeting was held at the request of China’s defense minister.
According to the report, as the confrontation between China and India continues to heat up, high-level Indian leaders have successively released important signals calling for “cooling down”. According to India today reported on the 4th, Indian Foreign Minister Su Jiesheng said on the 3rd that in order to solve the deadlock over the actual control line of the Sino Indian border, it is imperative to reach a settlement with China through diplomatic channels. “The two sides should not change the status quo of the border. What happens now will have an impact on Sino Indian relations.”. On the same day, Su Jiesheng confirmed that he would meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi when attending the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting in Moscow on September 10. He said he had “known each other for a long time” with foreign minister Wang Yi, which is why they can have a “reasonable conversation” when they meet next week under the situation of escalating tension between the two countries on the actual control line of the Sino Indian border.
According to the Indian Asian News Agency (ANI) reported on the 4th that “we are convinced that this issue can be completely solved through negotiation,” Indian army commander naravan, who is inspecting the Lecheng region, said on the same day He said that India has been maintaining communication with China at the military and diplomatic levels and will continue to do so in the future. It is believed that through these talks, “no matter what kind of differences will be resolved”, “we will ensure that the status quo will not change and that we have the ability to safeguard our own interests”.
According to Indian media reports, China and India are still sending more troops to the border areas of the two countries. India’s New Delhi TV station reported on the 4th that the Indian Army found that Chinese tanks and infantry had begun to “massively gather”, and artillery also entered a deep position about 20 km away from the actual control line. To this end, India has also strengthened its military deployment there. The report said that both China and India have recently put in early warning aircraft and air support aircraft, and the Indian Air Force has deployed a large number of warplanes at various bases in the north to ensure “correct and appropriate response” to China’s air activities.
An anonymous informed person told the global times on the 4th that the talks held by Singh and Su Jiesheng with the defense minister and foreign minister of China have been put on the agenda one after another. Although the previous military and diplomatic dialogues between the two countries are in the same line, the level is obviously higher. Considering that the confrontation area is about to enter winter, this will be the “perfect and final window” for China and India to ease the current tension.
Qian Feng, director of the research department of the National Institute of strategic studies at Tsinghua University, told the global times on the 4th that the meeting between defense ministers of China and India will be the highest level meeting between leaders of the defense departments of the two countries since the border confrontation and conflict, and also the first face-to-face meeting between high-level officials of the two countries. The meeting is undoubtedly beneficial to strengthening the communication between the two sides at the defense level, controlling the border situation, and preventing the recent confrontation on the South Bank of Bangong Lake from escalating into a conflict. It is also conducive to the two sides’ departments involved in the border to further promote the resolution of the confrontation problem. However, it is not realistic to finally solve it through a meeting. Qian Feng believed that the two sides will elaborate their respective positions and concerns during the meeting, and will also reiterate the consensus reached by both sides to maintain border stability and ensure that disputes do not escalate into conflicts.
As for some Indian media’s previous exaggeration of “China’s initiative to ask for talks” and “India’s defense minister has no plan to meet”, Qian Feng said, “according to the relevant Chinese departments, Indian media reports are seriously untrue on many details, and many reports are to satisfy the taste of India’s domestic nationalism. To a large extent, this information is deliberately released by the official insiders of India. Their intention is nothing more than to show the “tough” posture of the government and the military in maintaining national security. “