China has once again blamed Indian troops for the violent face-off at the LAC in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on Monday night.
New Delhi, June 17:
China has once again blamed the Indian Army for the violent face-off that took place at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh. In the first high-level talk between India and China since the clash on Monday night, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar that India must punish the soldiers behind the clash. The two leaders held the talks over the phone.
According to an official statement by the Chinese government, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that “on the evening of June 15, the Indian front-line border forces openly broke the consensus reached at the military-level meeting between the two sides. Once the situation in the Galwan Valley had slowed down, they crossed the actual control line again and deliberately provoked violence, attacking the officers and soldiers who negotiated with the Chinese side led to fierce physical clashes, resulting in casualties.”
“This risky act of the Indian Army seriously violated the agreement reached between the two countries on the border issue and seriously violated the basic norms of international relations. We urge the Indian side to conduct a thorough investigation on this, severely punish those responsible for the incident, strictly control the frontline troops,” the statement from the Chinese government quoted Wang Yi as saying.
The statement said that during the call, the Indian and the Chinese leaders agreed to de-escalate the situation at their border as soon as possible and handle the situation at Galwan Valley fairly.
Meanwhile, India’s Ministry of External Affairs has said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar conveyed a strong message to his Chinese counterpart during the call and said, “What happened in Galwan was premeditated and planned action by China which was responsible for the sequence of events.”
“It was agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner, and both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of June 6 sincerely,” the statement from MEA said.
EAM S Jaishankar also underlined that this unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship. The need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps, the MEA said.
What Happened on Monday Night
Indian and Chinse troops have been engaged in a bitter standoff in Eastern Ladakh since May 5. The standoff turned violent on Monday night as Indian troops found Chinese soldiers camping on the Indian side of the LAC in Galwan Valley of Eastern Ladakh. At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed during the violent face-off that night. Chinese troops also suffered heavy casualties, however, the number of their soldiers killed in the clash could not be confirmed.
The face-off came around 10 days after both sides agreed to de-escalate the situation during a Lt Gen-level talks at the LAC. However, the Indian patrolling party had found that the Chinese troops backed off from their commitment and were setting up camps on the Indian side of the LAC. This triggered a clash between Indian and Chinese troops.