India rebuts China's land ownership claim

India has rebutted Chinese claims of ownership of the Galwan river valley, the site of a bloody brawl between the neighbours.

Monday night's fight left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead and sparked fresh tensions between the two countries.

India's foreign ministry said the Chinese claims on the valley were "exaggerated and untenable".

Both sides have exchanged protests over the clashes in the disputed Himalayan border area.

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.

On Wednesday Beijing quoted a military statement saying China "owns sovereignty over the Galwan Valley region".

Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the foreign ministers of both countries had a phone conversation on the developments and "agreed that the overall situation should be handled in a responsible manner".

"Making exaggerated and untenable claims is contrary to this understanding," Mr Srivastava was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India news agency.

An Indian government statement after Subrahmanyam Jaishankar's conversation with China's Wang Yi said Beijing tried to erect 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".


(Source: BBC News)

 



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