India has trashed China's claim of sovereignty over the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, saying such "exaggerated" and "untenable" claims are contrary to the understanding reached during a high-level military dialogue on 6 June while also terming the violent cross-border clash a result of a "pre-meditated and planned action" by Chinese troops.
The Chinese military on Thursday said the Galwan Valley has always been a part of China.
In a sharp reaction to the claim by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA), Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava referred to an agreement reached between Chinese and Indian militaries on "disengagement" during the Lt General-level talks on 6 June.
"Making exaggerated and untenable claims is contrary to this understanding," he said in a statement issued at around 1 am.
The Galwan Valley was the site of the violent clash between the two militaries on Monday evening in which a colonel and 19 other Indian Army personnel were killed.
It was the biggest confrontation along the Line of Actual Control between the two forces after their clashes in Nathu La in 1967 when India lost around 80 soldiers and China lost over 300 PLA personnel.
In a telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar too talked about the need for implementation of the decisions taken at the 6 June meeting.
"As we have conveyed earlier today, External Affairs Minister and the State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China had a phone conversation on recent developments in Ladakh," Srivastava said.
"Both sides have agreed that the overall situation should be handled in a responsible manner and that the understandings reached between Senior Commanders on 6 June should be implemented sincerely. Making exaggerated and untenable claims is contrary to this understanding," he said.
The MEA said that Jaishankar had delivered a strong message to Wang saying the "unprecedented" incident in the Galwan Valley will have a "serious impact" on the bilateral relationship and held the "pre-meditated" action by Chinese Army directly responsible for the violence.
Mentioning the sequence of events leading up to the violent face-off, the MEA said in a statement that while some progress was made during the talks between the ground commanders, the Chinese side sought to erect a structure in Galwan Valley on Indian 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," the MEA said.
The ministry said in the statement that Jaishakar underlined that this unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship.
"The need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps. The two sides should scrupulously and sincerely implement the understanding that was reached by the Senior Commanders on 6 June. 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," the statement added.
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LAC. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, while India contests it.
Prior to the clashes, both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
With inputs from PTI