China claims Galwan Valley on its side of LAC, gives step-by-step account of Ladakh clash
Barely hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks towards the end of the all-party meet on China, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement which it claims to be a "step-by-step account of the Galwan Valley incident. The statement attributed to the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian was put out on the Chinese Embassy in India's official website.
In the statement, Zhao Lijian reiterated China's unverified claim that the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh is located on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the west section of the China-India boundary. Lijian further said that Chinese border troops have been patrolling the region for many years until April of this year when Indian border troops built roads, bridges and other facilities at the LAC in the Galwan Valley.
The spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry goes even further to allege, "By the early morning of May 6, the Indian border troops, who have crossed the LAC by night and trespassed into China's territory, have built fortification and barricades, which impeded the patrol of Chinese border troops They deliberately made provocations in an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo of control and management."
Lijian goes further to give the Chinese version of the violent face-off in his statement as he says, "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, and even violently attacked the Chinese officers and soldiers who went there for negotiation, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties."
This statement is contradictory in nature to the stance taken by the Indian Army and the Ministry of External Affairs. In his address on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Neither has anyone entered our territory nor have any of our posts been occupied".
A violent face-off between Indian troops and personnel of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Galwan Valley resulted in 20 Indian soldiers being killed in the line of duty. The broader standoff in eastern Ladakh between the two armies was first reported on May 5 after a fist-fight between troops along the Pangong Tso river.