Rajnath Singh in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart (Image: Twitter)

NEW DELHI: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday sent a strong message to his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu stating that China’s violation of border agreements ‘eroded’ the entire basis of ties between the two countries.

He also said all issues on LAC need to be resolved in accordance with existing bilateral agreements at the first high-level military visit by China since the Ladakh row began.

The meeting that lasted nearly 45 minutes with Li, Singh also conveyed to the Chinese defence minister that the development of India-China ties is premised on prevalence of peace and tranquillity at the border.

Also read: India will not shy away from war: Rajnath Singh in Arunachal Pradesh

Li is in New Delhi to attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Notably, this is the first trip to India by a Chinese defence minister after the border face-off began in May 2020.

Government sources said Singh conveyed to Li that after disengagement in remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh, there should be movement towards de-escalation and expressed hope for a ‘positive response’.

Also read: Arunachal: Indian Army has capability to face any challenge along border, says Rajnath Singh

According to reports, Singh also conveyed to Li that India wants to improve relations with China but it can happen only after peace and tranquillity are restored at the border.

Singh also held separate bilateral talks with his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Iran and Tajikistan and presented them mementoes. It is learnt that no memento was given to the Chinese minister.

Also read: Rajnath Singh reviews operational preparedness along China border in Arunachal Pradesh

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