Some context into the recent meeting held between the Chinese and Indian Defence minister in Moscow.
While the Indian Defence Minister is a frontline politician and member of the CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security), his Chinese counterpart is a 4-star general and an ordinary member of the CMC (Central Military Commission). Wei (Chinese DM) is like the Indian Chief of Defence Staff, without the kind of access and influence that the CDS has in the Indian national security establishment.
Unlike the Westminster system where a Minister of a Ministry is the top tier leadership, in China, it works a little differently. You can have a Minister in charge of a Ministry but he is not inside the Politburo. This means that his words do not have as much weight.
Wie is not a member of the Chinese Politburo.
Wie is not a member of the Chinese Politburo. Hence, his visit and meeting with the Indian DM had some purpose after all.
Defensionem assesses that they sent a non-politburo member to discuss because they don’t want to be seen as giving in to the Indians. Decisions made by a lower member can be discarded if things do not favour China. General Wei will go for the meeting, essentially agree to nothing, and then go home to advise the Politburo to let them decide.
We have assessed that there have been a vast number of meetings ever since the frictions have kicked off. The meetings started at the Divisional Commander level, then at the theatre command level.
However, the outcome of the meetings wasn’t significant. However, a substantial disengagement took place when a direct phone-call conversation took place between the Indian National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, and the Chinese FM, Wang Yi. Doval is known to be a very close aid of Indian Prime Minister, Modi.
The disengagement took place at the Finger 4, Pangong Tso, which was a primary point of friction.
Defensionem has also assessed that the current Brigadier level talks are taking place to sort out the district-level Issues at Pangong. A similar set of meetings took place post 15th June clash to sort out the aftermath of Galwan clash.