India cautioned China on Thursday not to make “exaggerated and untenable claims” to the disputed Galwan Valley, where the two countries had their deadliest confrontation in 45 years earlier this week.
On Monday, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese soldiers along the Himalayan border. Among those killed was an Indian colonel. China has not disclosed any casualties on its side.
India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said both sides agreed to handle the situation responsibly, and that “making exaggerated and untenable claims is contrary to this understanding.”
Each country has denied instigating the conflict.
“We never provoke anyone,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. “There should be no doubt that India wants peace, but if provoked, India will provide an appropriate response.”
China also fixed the blame on India.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stated that Indian soldiers “crossed the line, acted illegally, provoked and attacked the Chinese, resulting in both sides engaging in serious physical conflict and injury and death.”
The injuries and deaths were inflicted with weapons other than firearms, due to previous agreements between the two countries prohibiting guns and explosives along the border.
According to Indian officials, their soldiers were killed by nail-studded rods, pictures of which have been circulating online.
Despite the fact that neither country claimed responsibility for inciting the clash, Zhao said the two sides agreed to “cool down the situation on the ground as soon as possible, and uphold peace and tranquility of the border areas.”