China snubs Russian request for RIC Defence Ministers meeting

Russia is keen on trilateral defence cooperation involving China and India. Source: mil.ru

Russia is keen on trilateral defence cooperation involving China and India. Source: mil.ru

Moscow’s attempts to arrange a trilateral meeting between the defence ministers of Russia, India and China have been thwarted by Beijing. The latest standoff over the Dalai Lama visiting Tawang may have influenced the Chinese decision.

China has rejected a Russian request to hold a trilateral meeting at the level of defence ministers with India in Moscow, sources close to the Indian and Russian government told RIR on April 12.

The proposed meeting would have been held on April 25 in the Russian capital, a day before the Moscow Conference on International Security, which will be attended by both Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan and his Indian counterpart Arun Jaitley.

“We were ready to go ahead with this meeting, despite our concerns over China’s deep engagement with Pakistan,” an Indian Defence Ministry source said on the condition of anonymity. “After agreeing to the meeting, the Russians informed us that China refused.”

Diplomatic ties between India and China have worsened over the last three years.

India has expressed its displeasure over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which runs through territory claimed by India. Beijing has also blocked India’s attempt to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, despite Russian requests.

Beijing, on April 5, issued a sharp rebuke to New Delhi for allowing Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama to visit the Tawang Monastery in India’s state of Arunachal Pradesh. China claims the state (which is larger than Switzerland) as its territory, calling it South Tibet.

This is an abridged version of an article, first published by Russia Beyond The Headlines.

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