Rajnath Singh avoids handshake with Chinese counterpart at bilateral meet

File Photo of Rajnath Singh
File Photo of Rajnath Singh

New Delhi, Apr 28: A moment that stood out during the Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's bilateral meeting with Chinese counterpart General Li Shangfu held Thursday where they discussed developments in the India-China border areas as well as bilateral relations was when the former did not exchange a handshake ahead of the meet.

This is the first visit by the Chinese Defence Minister following the border transgression in Galwan in mid-2020. Video footage of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's bilateral meeting with Tajik, Iranian and Kazakh counterparts showed them exchanging firm handshakes with all of them.

India's defence ministry in a statement said Minister Rajnath Singh categorically conveyed that the development of relations between India and China is premised on the "prevalence of peace and tranquillity at the borders".

The defence minister added that all issues at the Line of Actual Control need to be resolved in accordance with "existing bilateral agreements and commitments". He reiterated that violation of existing agreements has eroded the entire basis of bilateral relations and disengagement at the border will logically be followed with de-escalation.

The Chinese Defence Minister is in New Delhi to attend today's Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers' Meeting. India is the current Chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

SCO is an intergovernmental organization established in 2001. The SCO membership includes Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan besides India. Apart from the member states, two observer countries Belarus and Iran will also be participating in the SCO Defence Ministers Meeting.

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