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Details of the meeting, which took place in Moldo on the Chinese side of the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC), have not been released. Sources said a diplomat from the Indian foreign ministry attended the talks. Tensions over the months-long stand-off remain sky high despite several rounds of talks at military, diplomatic and political levels.
We should no longer be talking about peace and tranquillity along the LAC, but conflict prevention
Negotiations between foreign and defence ministers of the nuclear-armed neighbours took place in Moscow earlier this month.
India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has accused China of violating past border agreements and expanding its troop deployments along the de-facto border.
Mr Singh told parliament India had warned China through diplomatic channels its “attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo were in violation of the bilateral agreements”.
He said China “illegally occupies” about about 14,670 square miles of land in Ladakh.
The dispute boiled over into violent confrontation in June with brutal clashes leaving 20 Indian soldiers and an unconfirmed number of Chinese troops dead in the remote Galwan Valley.
Since then, thousands of soldiers have been deployed on both sides, sparking fears of all-out war between the Asian powerhouses.
An agreement not to use firearms along the disputed frontier appears to have collapsed with both sides opening fire with warning shots on three occasions in recent weeks.
An Indian official said: “In all these cases shots were fired in the air and not at each other thankfully.”
One incident occurred on the north bank of the bitterly contested Pangong Tso lake in the run-up to a meeting between Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow.
The shooting, which neither side has made public, was the most intense yet with between 100 and 200 rounds being fired.
The two sides are jockeying for advantageous positions on the remote mountain border in the Ladakh sector which adjoins Tibet.
Mr Jaishankar and Mr Wang had agreed to dial down tensions but there has been no sign of either side withdrawing troops as yet.
Former Indian military commander lieutenant general DS Hooda said levels of distrust had risen to such a stage where it has become difficult to get back to the agreement under which troops carried few firearms at the contested border during their patrols.
He said: “We should no longer be talking about peace and tranquillity along the LAC, but conflict prevention.”
Each country has accused the other of escalating the stand-off.
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Indian officials say a build-up in border infrastructure on their side is likely to have played a part in the confrontation.
The Chinese have complained about India building roads and air strips in and around their disputed border, and Beijing says this triggered tensions along the border.
India insists China had been building up its infrastructure in the remote mountains for decades and New Delhi was now trying to close the gap.
Military officials said the development of roads and airfields on both sides of the border has also helped troops mobilise quickly in large numbers and in close proximity at some points in the Ladakh area.
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