Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has described the ongoing border situation between India and China in eastern Ladakh as "very serious". Jaishankar added that a "very deep conversation" is required between the two sides at a political level.
Ahead of his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Jaishankar said that the state of the border with China cannot be de-linked from the state of the overall relationship with the neighbouring country.
"If peace and tranquillity on the border are not a given, then it cannot be that the rest of the relationship continues on the same basis, because clearly peace and tranquillity is the basis for the relationship," the External Affairs Minister said.
Jaishankar is set to meet Wang on September 10 in Moscow on the sidelines of the meeting of the foreign ministers of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
The minister also talked about the number of pacts between the two countries on border management since 1993, saying they clearly stipulate keeping forces at a minimum level along the border and largely shaped the behaviour of the armed forces.
"If these are not observed, then it raises very important questions... I note that this very serious situation has been going on since the beginning of May, this calls for very very deep conversation between the two sides at a political level," he added.
Meanwhile, China on Monday claimed that it opened fire in retaliation after Indian troops fired warning shots near Shenpao mountain on the south bank of Pangong Lake.
Colonel Zhang Shuili, spokesperson of Western Theatre Command of China claimed during a press conference that Indian soldiers crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and fired warning shots at Chinese border patrol guard "who were about to negotiate". The Chinese troops took "countermeasures to stabilise the situation".
Last week, India Army foiled a third attempt by the People's Liberation Army of China to transgress into Indian areas in Chumar, a border patrol facility located in southeastern Ladakh.
In the last two-and-half months, India and China have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks to resolve border conflict in easter Ladakh. Both sides began a process of disengagement on July 6. However, the process has not moved forward since mid-July. The Indian side has constantly insisted on the complete disengagement of Chinese troops at the earliest.
The PLA has pulled back from Galwan Valley and certain other friction points. However, the PLA troops are still present in Pangong Tso, Depsang and a couple of other areas.
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control.