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After clash with India, PLA says China always had sovereignty over Galwan Valley region

The People’s Liberation Army accused Indian troops of ‘breaking their promises’ and crossing the LAC in the Galwan Valley Monday evening.

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New Delhi: A belligerent Chinese People’s Liberation Army Tuesday laid claim to the Galwan Valley region and accused India of violating agreements, which it claimed led to the clash that left at least three Indian soldiers dead and several injured late Monday.

The statement by the Chinese military came hours after the Indian Army issued a statement saying during the de-escalation process under way in the Galwan Valley, a “violent face-off” took place “with casualties on both sides”.

Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili, spokesperson of the PLA’s Western Theatre Command, which overlooks the borders with India, said Indian troops broke “their promises and again crossed the Line of Actual Control in the Galwan Valley region Monday evening and purposely launched provocative attacks, leading to severe clashes and casualties”.

“China always owns sovereignty over the Galwan Valley region, and the Indian border defence 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 (sic),” China’s Global Times quoted the spokesperson as saying.

“India should stop all provocative actions, meet the Chinese side halfway and come back to the right path of solving disputes through talks,” Zhang added.

Three Indian soldiers, including the commanding officer of an Army unit posted in Galwan Valley, were killed in action following a “violent face-off” with Chinese troops Monday. Sources said the soldiers were a mix of various units posted in the area — while the 16 Bihar unit has been posted there, more units were brought in due to the stand-off that has lasted over a month. The commanding officer of 16 Bihar had held talks with his Chinese counterpart in the Galwan Valley earlier Monday.


Also read: 1975 Arunachal ambush — the last time Indian soldiers died in clash with China at LAC


Foreign ministry’s comments

The Chinese foreign ministry also said Tuesday the country has “lodged solemn representations” with India and urged New Delhi not to “complicate” the situation along the LAC by “crossing the border or taking any unilateral action”.

There was no immediate official comment from the Ministry of External Affairs, even though its minister S. Jaishankar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs held an emergency meeting Tuesday.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian later said he didn’t have information on the “violent face-off” that led to the killing of the three Indian soldiers, but added that two Indian soldiers had “illegally crossed” into Chinese territory twice Monday, in a “serious violation” of the consensus reached earlier between the two countries.

“They provoked and attacked the Chinese side, leading to a severe physical brawl. China has lodged protests and representations to the Indian side,” Zhao said. “China demands the Indian side restrict front-line soldiers and avoid unilateral moves that will complicate the border situation,” he said.


Also read: India needs serious China experts who can guide policy, not parachute commentators


 

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