India and China agree to ease border tension in Moscow meeting

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India and China Saturday said they have agreed to ease border tension, following a meeting of their defense ministers.

Both nuclear-armed Asian giants have deployed additional forces along a long and rugged frontier running through the Himalayas.

The troops of the two countries have clashed in recent months with fists and sticks along the western part of their border.

A clash in June left 20 Indian soldiers killed in hand-to-hand fighting. China did not release casualty figures for its troops in that clash that occurred in Ladakh region.

De-escalation

Now the two countries say they are working towards de-escalation of tensions.

The statement came after the highest level face-to-face political contact between New Delhi and Beijing, the first such meeting since tensions first flared in May.

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and General Wei Fenghe of China met late on Friday on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Moscow.

Both siders agreed that neither of them “should take any further action that could either complicate the situation or escalate matters in the border areas,” India’s defense ministry said in a statement.

Wei said the two countries should promote peace and stability and work toward cooling down the existing tensions, China’s Defense Ministry said about the Moscow meeting.

According to a news report posted on ministry’s website, General Wei asserted that the blame for the tensions lay “entirely with India”, reiterating Chinese determination to safeguard their national sovereignty and territory.

The report said that China called on India to strengthen control of its frontline troops, refrain from provocative actions and “refrain from deliberately hyping and disseminating negative information”.