Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday told his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu that violation of existing agreements between the two countries has eroded the entire basis of bilateral ties.

The two leaders held a discussion after Li arrived in New Delhi to attend a meeting of defence ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which is being hosted by India on April 28.

This is the first visit by a Chinese defence minister since the militaries of the two nations clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020 in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. China had put the number of casualties on its side at four. The two countries have been locked in a border standoff since then.

Cross-border tensions escalated once again on December 9, after Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh. New Delhi said that the clash took place after Chinese soldiers attempted to change the status quo at the Line of Actual Control.

The Indian and Chinese armies have so far held 18 rounds of military talks on resolving the border row.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Defence in a statement said Singh and Li held “frank discussions” about the developments on the India-China border areas as well as on the bilateral relations between the two nations.

“The defence minister [Rajnath Singh] categorically conveyed that the development of relations between India and China is premised on the prevalence of peace and tranquillity at the borders,” the ministry said. “He added that all issues at the LAC need to be resolved in accordance with existing bilateral agreements and commitments.”