NEW DELHI: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday confirmed that India is in talks with China at the military and diplomatic level to resolve tensions along the border.
Singh also said he had conveyed to his US counterpart Mark Esper that India and China had established mechanisms in place to sort out such bilateral issues and would resolve the current problem through dialogue. This comes on the back of two offers to “mediate or arbitrate" from US President Donald Trump.
Singh’s comments are a first at the level of a government minister since multiple incidents of physical fighting were reported from three places in Ladakh and one place in Sikkim this month.
“I would like to assure the country that we will not allow India’s dignity to get hurt," Singh told television news channel, Aaj Tak.
“You know India’s clear policy is that we should have good relations with all neighbours and this is a long standing policy. But some times circumstances are such that with China things like these happen and such incidents have happened in the past as well," he said.
“Efforts to resolve this are going on. You must have seen statements from China which have said that we want to solve this problem though diplomatic dialogue," the minister said, referring to statements from the Chinese foreign ministry this week, which said the situation along the border with India was “controllable."
“India’s effort is that tensions do not go up...Talks are going on at the diplomatic level and at the military level," the minister said.
When asked about the US president’s offer of mediation, Singh said he had spoken to the US Secretary of Defence on the matter.
“I told him that we have developed a mechanism that if there is any problem we resolve it through military and diplomatic dialogue," he said.
The minister also added that there would be no repeat of the 1962 war between India and China that ended badly for India.
“Today India has a capable leadership...We will not allow India’s head to hang in shame," he added.