China’s claim over Galwan Valley ‘exaggerated and untenable’, asserts MEA

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Taking strong exception to China claiming sovereignty over the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Wednesday (June 18) said that these “exaggerated and untenable claims” are contrary to the understanding reached between the two nations to resolve the border issue.

“As we have conveyed earlier today, External Affairs Minister and the State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China had a phone conversation on recent developments in Ladakh,” Srivastava said.

“Both sides have agreed that the overall situation should be handled in a responsible manner and that the understandings reached between Senior Commanders on 6th June should be implemented sincerely. Making exaggerated and untenable claims is contrary to this understanding,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on phone and said that the “unprecedented” incident in the Galwan Valley will have a “serious impact” on the bilateral relationship. He told Wang that the “pre-meditated” action by Chinese army led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian Army personnel. 

In a related development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (June 17) decided to convene an all-party virtual meet on June 19 to discuss the situation on the India-China border, besides giving a clear message that the sacrifice of Indian soldiers killed in the Galwan Valley clash in Ladakh will not go in vain.

In the virtual meeting, PM Modi will get the opinion of all the parties and make them aware of the decisions of the government following the sacrifice of 20 Indian Army personnel including a Colonel in the clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night. 

The martyrdom of 20 Indian Army personnel in Galwan Valley has severely hit the Sino-India relationship. Since 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met each other nearly 18 times. PM Modi has so far visited China 5 times and is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit China so many times in the last 70 years. 

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The India Wire Team

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