Written byShalini Ojha
Amid heightened tensions with India, spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry Zhao Lijian gave a step-by-step account of what happened at the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh on Monday.
In the statement, released after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared no one crossed the border, China made a fresh claim to the strategic location, saying its troops have been patrolling there for years.
Already tense since May, Galwan Valley witnessed the first-ever clash between troops of both countries in decades, wherein 20 Indian soldiers were martyred. China also lost soldiers but didn't put a number.
Indian soldiers were attacked with clubs, boulders, rocks, and also thrown into the river.
Hand-to-hand combat started after China refused to retreat to a post, as discussed during the June 6 meeting.
Contradicting India's position on the conflict, Zhao claimed Galwan Valley is located on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control.
Saying that PLA has been guarding it for years, the statement from the Chinese Embassy added, "Since April this year, the Indian border troops have unilaterally and continuously built roads, bridges, and other facilities at the LAC in the Galwan Valley."
Zhao claimed China has been lodging strong protests about the infrastructure but Indian troops crossed over the border on May 6. They also "built fortification and barricades," preventing the patrolling by the Chinese.
"They deliberately made provocations in an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo of control and management," the statement added.
On June 6, a meeting to ease tensions happened.
"The Indian side promised that they would not cross the estuary of the Galwan river to patrol and build facilities and the two sides would discuss and decide phased withdrawal of troops through the meetings between commanders on the ground," the statement added.
According to Zhao, on Monday evening, Indian frontline soldiers went over to their side and violently attacked PLA soldiers.
"The adventurous acts of the Indian army have seriously undermined the stability of the border areas, threatened the lives of Chinese personnel, violated the agreements reached between the two countries on the border issue, and breached the basic norms governing international relations," the statement said.
Speaking to India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi communicated China's stand.
"He repeated China's stern position, demanding India to carry out a thorough investigation into the incident, severely punish those who should be held accountable, strictly discipline Indian frontline troops, and immediately stop all provocative actions so as to ensure that such incidents do not happen again," China added.
This statement came after PM Modi said in an all-party meeting that no one entered our territory or captured our posts.
"Twenty of our brave hearts were martyred in Ladakh but not before they taught a lesson to those who raised an eye at Bharat Mata," he said.
He reiterated India wants peace with China but will defend its sovereignty.
"I want to assure you that our forces will spare no effort to protect our nation. Today, we have the capability that no one can look at even an inch of our territory," he told.
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