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After Pakistan, now China is trying to create a dispute at the border with India as if it were part of a “mission," defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday as India and China held their seventh round of military talks.

“You are well aware of the conditions created along our northern and eastern borders. First it was Pakistan, and now also by China, as if a border dispute is being created under a mission. We have a border of about 7,000 km with these countries where the tension continues," Singh said as he virtually inaugurated 44 bridges in strategically important Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

The primary point of this round is required to be the safeguarding of an uncomfortable quiet that has been set up for a month along the fringe in Ladakh. The investigation of steps to keep up security on the ground and evade any activity that may trigger new pressure in the district was on the plan, said an individual acquainted with the turns of events. 

The discussions at the Corps administrator level started at around 12 early afternoon (Indian time) in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. The Indian designation was going — as has been currently for quite a long time—by Lt Gen Harinder Singh, the officer of the Leh-based 14 Corps. It likewise included Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs.

With a harsh winter closing in, there is only a small window left for both sides to reach agreement on pulling back troops from the frontlines, analysts said. According to the Indian assessment, there was also a similarly small window for China to spring any military surprises on India by trying to change the equations on the ground to suit Beijing.

This could result in a spike in tensions leading to a conflict whose impact could be either localized or broader. Troops of the two countries were in close proximity to each other – at some places separated by a few hundred metres – and the worry of a conflict actually breaking out was real, said the person familiar with the developments cited above.
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