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New Delhi, June 17, 2020
India today told China that the unprecedented violent face-off between the Indian Army and troops of the Chinese People's Liberation Army on Monday night in Eastern Ladakh would have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship and asked it to reassess its actions and take corrective steps.
During a telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the two sides should scrupulously and sincerely implement the understanding that was reached by the Senior Commanders on June 6.
"Troops of both sides should also abide by the bilateral agreements and protocols. They should strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control and should not take any unilateral action to alter it," he said.
The Indian Army had said yesterday that 20 Indian soldiers, including officers, had been killed in the clashes. The Chinese side also lost men, but their numbers were not known.
According to a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs, Jaishankar conveyed the protest of the Government of India in the strongest terms on the incident.
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. While this became a source of dispute, the Chinese side took pre-meditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties. It reflected an intent to change the facts on ground in violation of all our agreements to not change the status quo," Jaishankar said.
The State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China, on his part, conveyed the Chinese position on recent developments, the release said.
"At the conclusion of the discussion, it was agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner, and both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of 6 June sincerely. Neither side would take any action to escalate matters and instead, ensure peace and tranquillity as per bilateral agreements and protocols," the release added.