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‘Exaggerated and untenable’: India on China’s claim over Galwan valley after face-off

This was in response to China sending mixed signals on Wednesday with its support for peaceful resolution of the standoff in Ladakh on the one hand, and laying claim on the Galwan valley on the other.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Government has said that “making exaggerated and untenable claims” on the disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) are contrary to the understanding reached between senior Commanders on June 6.

This was in response to China sending mixed signals on Wednesday with its support for peaceful resolution of the standoff in Ladakh on the one hand, and laying claim on the Galwan valley on the other.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the country does not wish to see more clashes along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) but stressed that the sovereignty of the Galwan valley area has always belonged to China.

To this, India’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “As we have conveyed earlier today (Wednesday), External Affairs Minister and the State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China had a phone conversation on recent developments in Ladakh. Both sides have agreed that the overall situation should be handled in a responsible manner and that the understandings reached between Senior Commanders on June 6 should be implemented sincerely. Making exaggerated and untenable claims are contrary to this understanding.”

During the meeting on June 6, Lieutenant General-level talks were held to end the stand-off at Pangong Tso and a number of other areas in eastern Ladakh.

Amid heightened tensions over border clashes in eastern Ladakh, Foreign minister S Jaishankar in a telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Wednesday said that what happened in Galwan valley was “pre-meditated” and “planned action” by China which was responsible for the sequence of events.

EAM S Jaishankar underlined that this unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship and stressed that the need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps.

Jaishankar further noted that the two sides should scrupulously and sincerely implement the understanding reached by senior commanders on June 6.

“Troops of both sides should also abide by bilateral agreements and protocols. They should strictly respect and observe LAC and shouldn’t take any unilateral action to alter it,” the MEA quoted the foreign minister as saying over the call.

Chinese foreign ministry in a statement said that Beijing and Delhi have agreed to resolve the border clash in a “fair way” and de-escalate tensions as soon as possible.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in his phone call with Jaishankar further urged India to “severely punish” those responsible for the conflict at Galwan valley and “control” its frontline troops.

An unprecedented violent clash took place in Galwan valley at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh on Monday night with Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers attacking a small group of Indian Army men on patrol, resulting in fatalities which included the commanding officer of the Indian Army.

As many as 20 Indian Armymen including officers were killed in the face-off while the the Chinese side is learnt to have suffered over 40 casualties including dead and seriously injured.

India had earlier hit out at China for “unilaterally” attempting to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, which led to the killings of troops of both the countries.