New Delhi: Following the fatal altercation between the armies of two countries in which three personnel from India died, China on Tuesday claimed that Galwan Valley region has always belonged to it. Also Read - 'Words Can't Describe Pain I Feel': Rahul Gandhi Pays Tribute to Ladakh Martyrs

In one of the first official responses from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Colonel Zhang Shuili from China’s Western Theatre Command accused India of deliberately launching provocative attacks. Also Read - Ladakh Clashes: 'Indian Troops Crossed LAC in Galwan Valley Again,' Claims China | Top 10 Points

He said that the sovereignty of the Galwan Valley region has always belonged to China. He also went on to claim that China always owns sovereignty over the Galwan Valley region. Also Read - ‘Don’t Cross Borderline’: China Urges India to Abide by Relevant Agreement on Ladakh Standoff

Talking about the scuffle between soldiers of both armies, Colonel Zhang Shuili claimed that the Indian army crossed the LAC and provoked attacks that led to fierce physical confrontation resulting in casualties.

On the other hand, the Ministry of External Affairs of India said that the country is strongly committed to ensuring sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“We remain firmly convinced of the need for the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and the resolution of differences through dialogue. At the same time, we are also strongly committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the MEA said in a statement.

The MEA said that on late-evening and night of June 15,a violent face-off happened as a result of an attempt by Chinese side to unilaterally change status quo there. “Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had agreement at higher level been scrupulously followed by Chinese side,” the MEA said.

It said that given its responsible approach to border management, India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the LAC. “We expect the same of the Chinese side,” the MEA said.

Earlier in the day, the Indian Army in a statement said one officer and two jawans were killed during a physical altercation with the PLA in Galwan Valley on Monday night. At the same time, at least 3-4 Chinese soldiers were also killed as a result of retaliation.

The Chinese military on Tuesday also alleged that the Indian troops again crossed the Line of Actual Control in the Galwan Valley region and “purposefully launched provocative attacks”, leading to “severe clashes and casualties.”