India-China Exchanged Protests, Agreed To de-escalate Border situation

India-China Exchanged Protests, Agreed To de-escalate Border situation

June 17, 2020, 8:55 p.m.

The Indian and Chinese foreign ministers have exchanged protests over clashes in a disputed Himalayan border area which led to the deaths of at least 20 Indian troops.

But in a phone call both men promised not to escalate the situation. It was the first deadly clash at the disputed border for at least 45 years.

India's Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said China tried to erect a structure inside Indian territory, while China's Wang Yi said Indian troops attacked first.

Soldiers reportedly brawled with sticks and bats but no shots were fired.

China has not released casualty figures. Unconfirmed reports in Indian media say at least 40 Chinese soldiers died. Some Indian soldiers are still believed to be missing.

An Indian government statement following the phone conversation said that Chinese troops had tried to put up a structure on the Indian side of the de facto border, the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in the strategically important Galwan Valley.

It described this as "premeditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties" and urged China to "take corrective steps".

The statement concluded that neither side would take action to escalate matters.

Meanwhile a Chinese statement quoted Mr Wang as saying: "China again expresses strong protest to India and demands the Indian side launches a thorough investigation... and stop all provocative actions to ensure the same things do not happen again."

"Both sides should resolve the dispute through dialogue, and keep the border safe and tranquil," he added.

Source: BBC

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