Chinese foreign ministry accused Indian soldiers of crossing the border twice, resulting in a physical clash
At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese forces in Galawn Valley, in the eastern Ladakh region, Indian officials confirmed.
This is the first time in decades that the clashes turned bloody.
Earlier reported claimed that two Indian Army soldiers and one colonel were killed in clashes with the Chinese forces and tensions continue to brew in the disputed region.
What both sides say about the incident?
The Indian army released a statement saying the two sides had disengaged.
It said that “17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty” and died from their injuries, taking the “total that were killed in action to 20”.
China did not confirm any casualties, but accused India in turn of crossing the border onto the Chinese side.
Beijing accused Indian soldiers of “attacking Chinese personnel”.
Indian troops “crossed the border line twice… provoking and attacking Chinese personnel, resulting in serious physical confrontation between border forces on the two sides,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Tuesday.
“China always owns sovereignty over the Galwan Valley region, and the Indian border defense troops are inconsistent with their words and seriously violated the agreements both countries have reached, the consensus made during the army commander-level talks and harmed the relations of the two militaries and the feelings of the two countries’ peoples,” said Chinese People’s Liberation Army Western Theater Command spokesman Col. Zhang Shuili.
According to a statement attributed to a military official, the violent altercation took place on June 15 night and the two sides are working on deescalating the tensions.
New Delhi’s foreign ministry spokesman said the clash arose from “an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo” on the border.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, Indian envoy meet in Beijing
China’s Vice Foreign Minister, Luo Zhaohui, and Indian Ambassador to China, Vikram Misri, have met in Beijing and Major Generals from both armies are also reportedly in contact to defuse tensions.
“During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties,” the source said.
According to a statement by the Indian army, both sides suffered casualties. Some sources are also claiming that the casualties took place after both sides threw stones at each other and firing did not take place.
Tensions have remained high between the two sides for a while now. China crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and captured 60 sq.km area that was previously under Indian administration. Armed confrontations between the two countries have been on the rise in recent times. The two clashed in 2013 and then again in 2017. They also had a full-scale war in 1962.