New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: After months of denial, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Friday for the first time accepted that a least five Chinese soldiers were killed in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley clash in June last year with the Indian Army, news agency PTI reported.

The acknowledgement came as five Chinese frontiers, who were deployed at the Karakoram Mountain range, were recognised and awarded honorary titles and first-class merit citations posthumously by the Central Military Commission of China (CMC) for their sacrifice in the border confrontation with India, which occurred in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, PTI quoted PLA Daily, the official newspaper of Chinese Military.

The five Chinese soldiers killed in the clash were identified as, Qi Fabao, Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran. Qi Fabao, the regimental commander from the PLA Xinjiang Military Command, has been awarded the title of "Hero regimental commander for defending the border, while Chen Hongjun was awarded "Hero to defend the border. Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran were awarded the first-class merit.

This is the first time China has acknowledged casualties and details of these officers and soldiers' sacrifice, four of whom died when dealing with the Indian military's "illegal trespassing" of the Galwan Valley Line of Actual Control (LAC). A total of 20 Indian soldiers died in the Galwan Valley clash regarded as the worst in over four decades at the India-China border.

While India has announced the casualties immediately after the incident, China did not officially acknowledge the casualties until Friday. The Russian official news agency TASS reported on February 10 that 45 Chinese servicemen were killed in the Galwan Valley clash.

Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times that China unveiled the details of the incident to refute previous "disinformation" that stated China suffered greater casualties than India or China incited the incident.

The admission of the casualties by the PLA coincides with the disengagement of troops by both sides at the North and South banks of the Pangong Lake, the most contentious part of the standoff which began in May last year.

 

(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan