Breaking the silence and ambiguity around the India-China clashes in the Galwan valley of Ladakh, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has finally issued a statement, claiming it to be a "step-by-step account" of the incident. The statement attributed to Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian was put up on the Chinese Embassy in India's website hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement at the all-party meet, which took place yesterday.
In the statement, Lijian said the Galwan Valley area in eastern Ladakh is located on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western section of the Indo-China border, thus reiterating China's unverified claim to this area.
Lijian further said that Chinese troops have been patrolling and monitoring the region for many years. Things changed in April this year when Indian border troops started to build roads, bridges and other facilities at the LAC in Galwan Valley.
Lijian went 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 also gave a detailed account of the incident that took place on June 15, saying: "Shockingly, on the evening of June 15, India's front-line troops, in violation of the agreement reached 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."
The statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson completely contradicts the one issued by the Indian Army and the Ministry of External affairs. Even PM Modi had said yesterday, "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 getting killed in the line of duty. Though China has kept the number of casualties on its side a secret, multiple reports suggest somewhere between 35 and 45 Chinese were killed during the fierce unarmed fight.