India rejects China’s Galwan Valley claim as ‘untenable, exaggerated’

New Delhi: India has accused China of advancing exaggerated and untenable claims with regard to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in response to Beijing laying ownership on the entire Galwan Valley where a bloody skirmish took place on June 16 resulting in the deaths of 20 Indian army personnel.
Three days before Foreign Ministers of India and China will be joined by the Russian Foreign Minister for a video conference that will help in lowering temperatures, India and China agreed on early meetings at the level of military commanders and diplomats to further defuse tensions.
At the same time, India maintained that the skirmish took place after Chinese troops entered its side of the LAC in Galwan Valley for the second time. Violence flared up when Indian troops resisted an attempt to put up structures, said the MEA in response to Chinese Foreign Ministry’s “step-by-step” version of the Galwan Valley incident.
Refuting Chinese assertions that the Valley is located on the Chinese side of the LAC, the MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said “attempts by the Chinese side are not acceptable. They are not in accordance with China’s own position in the past”.
However, India made no claims of its own with Srivastava simply stating that, “The position with regard to the Galwan Valley area has been historically clear.”
Countering two other allegations, Srivastava said Indian troops had never undertaken any action across the LAC and that all infrastructure built for the purpose by India is “naturally on its own side”.
He said for Chinese troops had been hindering India’s normal, traditional patrolling pattern in this area for over a month. This led to a face-off which was addressed by the ground commanders.
Earlier, Chinese attempts to cross the LAC in other areas of the Western Sector, too, were rebuffed, leading to talks between senior army commanders on June 6 which agreed on de-escalation and disengagement. But the Chinese side departed from this understanding and entered a second time to erect structures. Chinese troops turned violent action when this attempt was foiled, he said.
The MEA spokesperson also said the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had rejected his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi’s allegations that the Indian side was the first aggressor.

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