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Indian PM Narendra Modi calls China's Claims on Galwan Valley "Exaggerated and Untenable"

  • China and India, both, have downplayed the reports of the release of 10 Indian soldiers (including 3 majors and a lieutenant-colonel) on Thursday by the Chinese. The Indian soldiers were reportedly detained by Chinese Army after both sides clashed with each other in the Galwan Valley along the disputed Indo-China border. While spokesperson of China, Zhao Lijian, said that no Indian soldiers are being held by Chinese military “currently”, Indian government said that none of their soldiers are missing. While 20 Indian soldiers died, China reportedly suffered 30 casualties. Last Monday’s clash was the first ever clash among the troops that led to casualties in at least 45-years. Reports say that numerous casualties and injuries of soldiers from both sides took place after the Indian and Chinese troops clashed on ridges at a height of nearly 4,300 m (14,000 ft) on steep terrain. While China claimed “sovereignty over the Galwan Valley region” on Wednesday, India rebutted China’s claim by calling it “exaggerated and untenable”. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi said that India's armed forces have been given “free hand to take all necessary steps” for protecting Indian territory after the fighting of the troops in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley led to many injuries and casualties. He went on to claim that no foreign soldiers are currently inside Indian borders and no territory has been lost. PM Modi also said that “India wants peace and friendship, but upholding sovereignty is foremost.” The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted his country’s deepest condolences to the people of India and the lives lost in the recent confrontation with China  in the Galwan Valley (along the Line of Actual Control in East Ladakh). Pompeo’s tweet comes just after meeting top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi.