China on Thursday accused India of instigating a “geopolitical confrontation” after the chief of defence staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat’s termed China as India’s biggest security threat. China’s Defense Ministry voiced opposition to CDS Rawat’ remarks and called the Indian military chief’s comments “provocative.”
“Hyping up China threat has severely breached the strategic guidance set by leaders of the two countries that China and India pose no threat to each other,” said Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian. “Inciting geopolitical confrontation is both irresponsible and dangerous,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
He expressed hope that India can jointly safeguard regional peace with China. “As neighbouring countries, we hope the India side can work with China to jointly safeguard regional peace and tranquillity in the border regions, and together maintain the positive development of bilateral ties,” the spokesperson added.
This comes a day ahead of the 18th meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, India, and China. The meeting, which will be chaired by External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar, will be held in the digital video conference format. Last week, India and China had agreed on the need to find an early resolution to the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols so as to restore peace and tranquillity.
The two sides had “a candid and in-depth discussion” on the situation along the LAC in the western sector of border areas at the 23rd meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), according to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs. The two sides also reviewed the developments since the last meeting of the Senior Commanders of both sides which was held on October 10 this year.
There is a stalemate on complete disengagement from friction points along the LAC following the actions of the Chinese Army last year. While areas like Pangong Tso and Gogra have seen a pullback of troops by the two sides after several rounds of talks, Hot Springs is yet to see disengagement.