China’s Global Times on Friday released a video of the Galwan valley clash showing PLA troops clashing with Indian soldiers. The confrontation between Indian-Chinese soldiers took place in June 2020 in Ladakh near the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Earlier in the day, China, for the first time admitted that four People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops were killed in clash with Indian soldiers in Galwan valley of Ladakh in June last year. Several reports had claimed that the casuality on the Chinese side was much higher than what is being claimed by Beijing.
According to a Global Times report, those killed have been “recognised” by the Central Military Commission of China (CMC) for “defending national sovereignty” and “territorial integrity”.
Chinese top military body Central Military Commission “awarded” Qi Fabao, the regimental commander from the PLA Xinjiang Military Command, the title of “Hero regimental commander for defending the border,” Chen Hongjun with “Hero to defend the border,” and “awarded” first-class merit to Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran.
While India had announced the casualties immediately after the incident, China did not officially acknowledge the casualties until Friday. A total of 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in the Galwan Valley clash. The incident marked the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in decades.
Next round of disengagement talks tomorrow
On Saturday, India and China military delegates will meet for the tenth round of talks to discuss disengagement at other friction places at the Line of Actual Control, sources said.
During the tenth round, the Corps Commanders will discuss other friction areas like Hot Springs, Gogra and 900 square km Depsang Plains. The talks will start at 10 am at Moldo on the Chinese side.
The build-up in Depsang was not being considered part of the current standoff that started in May last year as escalations took place in 2013, India has insisted during recent military commander meetings to resolve all issues across the Line of Actual Control.
“The initial attempt will be to resolve Gogra and Hot Springs. Finding a solution to Depsang might be tricky and take longer,” said an official.
The representatives during the tenth round of “corps commander level” meet will also check the status of disengagement at northern and southern banks of Pangong Lake.
It was on February 10 that China made an announcement that New Delhi and Beijing have agreed to disengage at Pangong Lake.
Disengagement at Pangong Lake reverfied
Indian Army team along with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are physically verifying and re-verifying disengagement at Pangong Lake. “It is a joint inspection team, both from Indian Army and Chinese PLA,” said a senior government officer.
The agreement states that Chinese troops will move back to Finger 8 and Indian troops will pull back to the Dhan Singh Thapa post between Finger 2 and 3 of the north bank of Pangong Lake. Further, there would be a temporary moratorium on military activities, including patrolling to the traditional areas.
The mountain spur jutting into the lake is referred to as Finger in military parlance. The north bank of the lake is divided into 8 Fingers. Indian has claimed its territory till Finger 8 and China dispute it claims till Finger 4.
India and China are engaged in a ten-month-long standoff at the Line of Actual Control. The confrontations began on the north bank of Pangong Lake, both in the waters and the bank as Chinese incursions increased in early May last year.
The confrontation later spilled over to the southern bank following which Indian Army occupied crucial heights irking the Chinese also leading to incidents of gun shots being fired in the air.
Last year on June 15, India lost 20 soldiers during clash at Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh. China back then never revealed about casualties.
(With inputs from IANS)