India’s Rajnath Singh Chairs SCO Defence Ministers’ Meeting
India was just an observer at the SCO Meeting in 2005. But this time India hosted the SCO meeting which is being participated by China, Pakistan & other countries.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recently presided over the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi, a gathering that saw the participation of esteemed Defence Ministers from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, who were physically present.
However, Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif joined the meeting through video conference. In a bid to enhance collaboration, India also extended invitations to two observer countries, Belarus and Iran, to actively engage in the Defence Ministers’ meet.
It is noteworthy that this visit marked Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu’s first visit to Delhi since the intense Galwan Valley clashes in 2020.
The officials responsible for organizing the meeting highlighted that the primary focus of the discussions would revolve around regional security concerns, particularly the unfolding developments in Afghanistan.
Shortly after a bilateral meeting between China and India on the previous day, Chinese Defence Minister Li expressed his perspective on the conditions along the tense and high-altitude border with India.
He emphasized that the situation remains “stable overall,” offering a more optimistic view compared to the standpoint presented by New Delhi.
Li went on to underscore that China and India share numerous common interests, far outweighing their differences.
He emphasized the need to adopt a long-term outlook, prioritize the border issue within the bilateral relationship, and work towards promptly normalizing the border situation.
Meanwhile, India’s defense ministry released a statement accusing China of undermining the very foundation of their bilateral ties by disregarding previously established agreements.
This reference pertains to a long-standing standoff along their disputed border in the Ladakh region, which has persisted for three years.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh emphasized that the development of India-China relations rests on the prerequisite of peace and tranquility at the borders.
He reiterated the importance of resolving all border issues in accordance with existing agreements and commitments.
Significantly, the 18th round of high-level military talks between India and China took place last week at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point in eastern Ladakh.
The discussions centered on confidence-building measures and strategies to prevent confrontations at the borders in the upcoming months.