China on Tuesday alleged that the Indian troops twice crossed the border line on June 15 for "illegal activities and provoked and attacked Chinese personnel" which led to serious physical conflict between the two sides, hours after the Indian Army said the violent face-off took place between the troops during the "de-escalation process" in the Galwan Valley.
According to the Indian Army, an officer and two soldiers were killed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday during the violent face off with the Chinese troops, the first such incident on the India-China border in the last 45 years reflecting massive escalation.
The army also said there were casualties on both sides during the violent face-off. However, there was no immediate confirmation from Beijing on the likely casualties on the Chinese side.
"I am not aware of the information you provided," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in Beijing when asked about the reports of the Indian casualties at the contested borders.
"Our border troops had a high-level meeting and reached important consensus on easing the border situation but astonishingly on June 15 the Indian troops seriously violated our consensus and twice crossed the border line for illegal activities and provoked and attacked Chinese personnel which led to serious physical conflict between the two sides and China has lodged strong protest and representation with the Indian side," Zhao said.
"We once again solemnly ask the Indian side to follow our consensus, strictly regulate its front-line troops and do not cross the line, do not stir up troubles or make unilateral moves that may complicate matters," the spokesperson said.
Zhao also added that both sides agree to resolve this issue through dialogue and consultation and make efforts for easing the situation and upholding the peace and security along the border area.
According to a senior military officer in New Delhi, it is the first incident involving the casualty of an Indian soldier in a violent clash with the Chinese Army after 1975 when four Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush at Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh along the de-facto border between the two countries.
Official sources said there was no firing between the two sides.
The incident comes days after Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane said both sides have begun "disengaging" from the Galwan Valley.
The Indian and Chinese armies are engaged in a standoff in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh.
A sizeable number of Chinese army personnel even transgressed into the Indian side of the de-facto border in several areas including Pangong Tso.
The Indian Army has been fiercely objecting to the transgressions, and demanded their immediate withdrawal for restoration of peace and tranquillity in the area. Both sides held a series of talks in the last few days to resolve the row.