India on Wednesday reacted to China's claim that "sovereignty of the Galwan Valley area in Ladakh belonged to China," saying it was an "exaggerated and untenable claim".
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian at a media briefing on Wednesday, a day after the armies of the two countries were engaged in a violent face-off, claimed that the "sovereignty of the Galwan Valley area in Ladakh always belonged to China".
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson's claim prompted India to issue another statement at late last night by official spokesperson of India's External Affairs Ministry Anurag Srivastava, refuting the Beijing's claim.
Anurag referred to the phone conversation between India's External Affairs Minister and his Chinese counterpart on recent developments in Ladakh when the both sides had "agreed that the overall situation should be handled in a responsible manner and that the understandings reached between Senior Commanders on June 6 should be implemented sincerely".
"Making exaggerated and untenable claims is contrary to this understanding," the India's External Affairs Ministry statement read.
The Monday's skirmishes between the Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley had left 20 Indian soldiers dead and 76 more injured including 18 with serious wounds, according to media reports quoting official sources.
Indian army officials, however, claimed that 43 Chinese were killed or seriously injured, citing radio intercepts and other intelligence although the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson in his yesterday's media briefing did not provide any figure of casualties from Chinese side.
Earlier on Wednesday, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told his counterpart Wang Yi in a phone conversation that the Chinese side's "pre-meditated and planned action" was behind the violence and casualties.
He said, "This unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship and China had to reassess its actions and take corrective steps".
Besides, Wang, according to the Chinese foreign ministry, said the "Indian side must not misjudge the current situation and must not underestimate China's firm determination to safeguard our territorial sovereignty".
Wang reiterated China's accusations that Indian troops had triggered the clash on June 15 by crossing the LAC, and said India must investigate its troops for the action.