After the India Army released a statement stating that casualties have been suffered by both sides in “violent face-off” during the de-escalation process with China in Galwan Valley, Ladakh, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in an official statement said that the violent face-off in Eastern Ladakh took place because of China’s attempts to unilaterally change status quo.
“India and China have been discussing through military and diplomatic channels the de-escalation of the situation in the border area in Eastern Ladakh,” a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said. He added that senior commanders had a meeting to on June 6 wherein they agreed on a process of de-escalation.
“India has always maintained that its activities are within the Indian side of LAC. While it was our expectation that this would unfold smoothly, the Chinese side departed from the consensus to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley”, read the official statement by MEA.
Confirming that both sides suffered casualties, the statement read that on the late-evening and night of 15th June, 2020 a violent face-off happened which could be avoided had the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side.
India stands committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity
“Given its responsible approach to border management, India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the LAC. We expect the same of the Chinese side. We remain firmly convinced of the need for the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and the resolution of differences through dialogue. At the same time, we are also strongly committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” read the statement.
Indian Army confirmed that three soldiers attained martyrdom in the standoff
The Indian Army had earlier released a statement saying that three Indian soldiers, including the Commanding Officer of a battalion had attained martyrdom at Galwan valley in a violent faceoff on Monday night. The official statement said that it took place during the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan valley.
India-China standoff at Ladakh: China unleashes its propaganda, blames Indian troops
Meanwhile, Beijing has unleashed its propaganda and accused Indian troops of crossing border and ‘attacking Chinese personnel’.
“The Indian Army on Monday seriously violated consensus of the two sides by illegally crossing the border twice and carrying out provocative attacks on Chinese soldiers, resulting in serious physical clashes,” said Chinese Foreign Minister according to Global Times.
“China has lodged solemn representations with the Indian side and urged it to strictly restrain its frontline troops from crossing the border or taking any unilateral action that may complicate the border situation,” claimed Foreign Minister.
Chinese troops deployment near Ladakh
The tension between India and China have escalated since reports emerged that China had deployed excessive troops and set up temporary tents across the Galwan river in Ladakh after a face-off near Pangong Tso on May 5-6.
It is also believed that Chinese troops have also taken up positions along the Pangong Tso Lake and are also carrying out aggressive patrols with motorboats to intimidate Indian forces in the region. Reportedly, the Chinese troops have damaged some temporary structures put up in the finger area near Pangong Tso Lake.
The face-offs, which started as a little skirmish initiated by the Chinese troops, later took a serious turn after the Chinese side brought in troops and heavy equipment from a military exercise.
Troops clashed in Eastern sector
The Galwan stand-off comes at the backdrop of a recent incident where troops of both India and China were involved in two face-offs in a span of a week in the Eastern Ladakh and near Naku La Pass in the Sikkim sector along the contentious border between the two countries.
In the first incident, the Chinese army personnel had clashed with Indian forces along the northern bank of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh on May 5. The face-off ended the next morning following dialogue between the two sides. A number of soldiers on both sides had sustained minor injuries
Just days before, in another incident, nearly 150 Indian and Chinese military personnel had engaged in a face-off near Naku La Pass in the Sikkim sector of the Sino-India border in which at least 10 soldiers sustained injuries.