TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Indian army said one of its commanding officers and two soldiers have been killed in a violent faceoff with the Chinese troops along the nations' border in the Himalayas on Monday night (June 15).
In a brief statement, the Indian army confirmed the developments and said the clash took place during a "de-escalation" process in the Galwan Valley, which had been set up for senior military leaders from both sides to engage in peaceful conversations. It added there were lives lost "on both sides," but did not specify the number of Chinese casualties.
The statement also said this was the first incident involving fatalities in the bilateral conflict since 1975. However, no shots were fired during the faceoff, according to New Talk.
Meanwhile in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) shot down reports of the casualties and instead accused India of crossing the border twice and attacking Chinese personnel. He aggressively criticized the Indian army for violating the countries' consensus on easing the border situation and said its provocative behavior has led to "serious physical conflict" between the two sides, reported UDN.
Since early May, border tensions between China and India have escalated despite both sides' effort to defuse the situation peacefully. Soldiers from the two countries have engaged in standoffs at multiple locations along the de-facto border and had promised to pull back their troops before Monday's incident, reported the Stand News.