Ten Indian soldiers, including four Army officers, who had reportedly been detained by the Chinese Army after the violent clashes on June 15 — in which more than 20 Indian soldiers were killed — have been released.
The release of the men, including two Majors, came after three days of Major-General level negotiations in the Galwan Valley by both sides.
The Indian Army said all Indian soldiers involved in the clashes with the Chinese army at the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday (June 15) night have now been accounted for.
However, China on Friday (June 19) said that presently, it has not detained any Indian soldiers. “As far as I know, China presently has not detained any Indian personnel,”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing while answering questions on the tense standoff between the Indian and Chinese troops.
Asked if there are any Chinese soldiers detained by India, he said, “China and India are (engaged) in a dialogue to resolve the matter on ground through diplomatic and military channels. I don’t have any information for you at the moment.
“I would like to reiterate that regarding the serious situation in the Galwan Valley, the right and wrong is very clear and the responsibility entirely lies with the Indian side,” he said.
“China values our bilateral relations. We hope India can work with China to jointly maintain the long-term development of the bilateral relations, the foreign ministry spokesman said.
The clash in Galwan Valley is the biggest confrontation between the two militaries after their 1967 clashes in Nathu La when India lost around 80 soldiers, while the death toll on the Chinese side was over 300.
Seventy-six Indian soldiers were injured and had to be hospitalised after the clashes.
All of them are expected to return to duty within 15 days. None of them are said to be in critical condition.
The soldiers were assaulted by the Chinese with iron rods and clubs wrapped in barbed wire, which were laced with nails.
China has not put out any official casualty figures but at least 45 Chinese soldiers have been killed or injured, according to army sources.
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.
While commenting on a question on India’s election to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member, Zhao said the UNSC is an important organ to uphold international peace and security following the UN charter. “As a permanent member, China would like to enhance cooperation with all the parties of the UNSC, including the newly-elected non-permanent members to jointly fulfil the responsibility given by the UN charter,” he said.
Asked about China’s stance on the UN reforms, he said China’s position on the UN reforms is “consistent and clear”. China in the past has said there were major differences among UN members over the UNSC reforms.
Beijing has maintained that a package solution should be found to accommodate the interests and concerns of all parties.
(With inputs from agencies)