China officially admits 5 PLA soldiers killed during Galwan clash with India
On Friday, China has officially announced 5 soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), who were killed in the clash with Indian troops in Galwan Valley. The news was made public in a PLA Daily newspaper article which was released amid the ongoing disengagement of border troops.
After 8 months of the border clash at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, China acknowledged for the first time the casualties it faced during the clash. It named 4 soldiers that were killed in the clash and the 5th who died during a rescue mission near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two countries in June last year.
On Friday, the official newspaper of the Chinese military, PLA Daily newspaper, reported that the Chinese leadership honoured the 5 soldiers.
Global Times quoted PLA Daily as saying; those killed included Qi Fabao, the regimental commander from the PLA Xinjiang Military Command, Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran.
The clash took place eight months ago, but Beijing never disclosed the Chinese casualties. This announcement came after Indian military planners put a much higher number of Chinese casualties and said that 45 Chinese casualties were recorded.
The article in the daily revealed details of the incident leading to the deaths but it did not explain the reason why the information was being shared eight months after the clash. The headline of the article placed on page one of the newspaper read, “Saving tears for Victory” as it claimed that the clash was a major victory for the PLA. It asserted that the Indian soldiers had outnumbered the Chinese border troops.
Eventually the article was carried by other state media outlets. The Chinese state media outlets blamed India for the clash. India has constantly denied all the allegations and clarified that PLA trespassed across the LAC. India lost 20 soldiers who were honoured for their sacrifices and bravery.
Currently India and China are in between of a military de-escalation on both banks of the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh, which lies south of Galwan where the clashes took place. After several rounds of diplomatic and military talks, both the countries are still in a deadlock over the border issue.