Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lijian Zhao on Saturday said Indian troops posted in the disputed Galwan Valley violated the agreement between Beijing and New Delhi by crossing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) earlier this week which resulted in more than 20 Indian soldiers being killed.
On June 15, at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed and more than 70 injured in a violent face-off with Chinese soldiers in the Ladakh Valley. The rival armies have been eyeball-to-eyeball at their border for decades but it was the worst clash since 1967 — five years after China brutally humiliated India in the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
In a series of tweets, Zhao said India’s front-line troops violently attacked the Chinese officers and soldiers who went there for negotiations, thus “triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties.”
The spokesperson while giving a step-by-step account of the Galwan clash said for many years, the Chinese border troops have been patrolling and on duty in this region.
“Since April, the Indian border troops have unilaterally and continuously built roads, bridges and other facilities at the LAC in Galwan Valley. China lodged representations and protests on multiple occasions but India went even further to cross the LAC and made provocations,” Zhao said.
He continued, “On May 6, Indian border troops crossed LAC, trespassed into China’s territory, built fortification and barricades, which impeded the patrol of Chinese border troops.”
“They [Indian troops] deliberately made provocations in an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo of control and management,” Zhao said, adding the Chinese border troops were compelled to take necessary measures to respond to the situation on the ground and strengthen management and control in the border areas.
Zhao added that to ease the situation, China and India stayed in close communication through military and diplomatic channels.
“In response to the strong demand of the Chinese side, India agreed to withdraw the personnel who crossed the LAC and demolish the facilities, and so they did,” he said.
The spokesperson added that on June 6, the border troops held a commander-level meeting and agreed to ease the situation. “India promised it would not cross the estuary of Galwan river to patrol and build facilities. The two sides would discuss and decide phased withdrawal of troops by officials on the ground,” he tweeted.
“Shockingly, on the evening of June 15, India’s front-line troops, in violation of the agreement reached at the commander-level meeting, once again crossed the Line of Actual Control for deliberate provocation when the situation in the Galwan Valley was already easing,” Zhao shared.
He added that India’s front-line troops even violently attacked the Chinese officers and soldiers who went there for negotiation, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said there had been no intrusion across India’s borders after more than 20 Indian soldiers were killed and 70 injured. “Nobody has intruded into our border, neither is anybody there now, nor have our posts been captured,” Modi said.