Chinese soldiers' "pre-meditated" and "planned action" was directly responsible for the violent face off in the Galwan valley on Monday night, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar told his China counterpart Wang Yi in a phone conversation on Wednesday. He also conveyed India's protest in "strongest terms" to China and underlined that the Galwan Valley development will have a "serious" impact on the bilateral relationship between the two Asian giants.
"The External Affairs Minister (EAM) conveyed the protest of the Government of India in the strongest terms on the violent face-off in Galwan Valley on 15 June 2020," according to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs following the conversation between the two ministers.
The telephonic conversation between the two ministers came after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face-off between Indian and Chinese sides at Galwan Valley in Ladakh on Monday night. This was the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff between the two countries.
During the conversation, Jaishankar conveyed to Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that the need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take "corrective" steps.
"The EAM underlined that this unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship. The need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps. The two sides should scrupulously and sincerely implement the understanding that was reached by the Senior Commanders on 6th June," the MEA said.
He recalled that at the meeting of senior Military Commanders held on June 6, an agreement was reached on de-escalation and disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). "Ground commanders were meeting regularly to implement this consensus throughout the last week. While there was some progress, the Chinese side sought to erect a structure in Galwan valley on our side of the LAC," MEA quoted Jaishankar as saying.
The Ministry of External Affairs said both sides have agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner, and both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of June 6 sincerely. It added that both sides have agreed to ensure peace and tranquillity along the border area, as per bilateral agreements and protocols.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Indian soldiers' sacrifice in a clash with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in Ladakh would not go in vain. "India wants peace but when provoked, India is capable of giving a fitting reply, be it any kind of situation," he said.
The PM has called an all-party meeting to discuss the situation at the India-China border, which is scheduled for 5 pm on Friday via video conferencing.
The clashes between Indian and Chinese troupes at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh left 20 Indian soldiers dead, while four more are critical. The clashes happened after Chinese troupes were asked to move away from a location in the Galwan Valley as per an agreement. Satellite images from the valley suggest Chinese troops outnumbered Indian troops.