New Delhi, Sep 4: Trust, non-aggression, respect for international rules and peaceful resolution of differences are key to maintaining peace and security in the region whose nations are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said today. Both India and China are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO, an eight-nation regional grouping that primarily focuses on security and defence issues.
“Peaceful stable and secure region of SCO member states, which is home to over 40 per cent of the global population, demands a climate of trust and cooperation, non-aggression, respect for international rules and norms, sensitivity to each other’s interest and peaceful resolution of differences,” Singh said at the ministerial meet of the SCO in Moscow, where his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe was also in attendance.
Indian and Chinese soldiers are engaged in a stand-off along the mountainous Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. Tension between the two nations has been simmering for months. Matters escalated fast after a violent face-off in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan valley led to 20 soldiers giving their lives for India. Over 40 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured.
Tension also flared up in the region after China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake five days ago. Since then, there has been a major force build-up of Chinese tanks and infantry forces in the south Pangong region of eastern Ladakh after the Indian Army seized the initiative and gained control of several key heights in the area on August 30, sources have said.
Given the range of their guns, Chinese artillery would be located in “depth” positions, more than 20 km away from the LAC.
Referring to World War II, Singh said memories of that war teach the world the “follies of aggression” of one state upon another, which eventually brings “destruction” to all.
“This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War as well as the formation of the United Nations, which underpins a peaceful world, where international laws and sovereignty of states are respected and states refrain from unilateral aggression on another,” Singh said.