A WhatsApp forward which apparently names at least 30 Chinese PLA soldiers killed during the violent face-off between the Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley, found its way to English news channel Times Now’s bulletin and is now being circulated widely. While the message was falsely attributed to Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times, there’s no evidence to support its authenticity.
It’s pertinent to note, however, that the Global Times’ editor-in-chief did confirm casualties on the Chinese side, but names and the number of casualties have not been released officially.
Though, later in its bulletin, the news channel possibly noticed the faux pas and mentioned that the information could be a “fake forward”.
The viral message mentions that the Global Times article was published on Wednesday at 0:57:25.
“A spokesperson for the Western Theatre Command that oversees defences of China's border with India has released the names of 30 Chinese troops killed by Indian action,” the message adds.
Several social media users have shared the message on Facebook and Twitter with the same claim.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We searched on Google using relevant keyword and found that no such information has been shared by Global Times. A search on the organisation’s website also led to no results on the same.
The news organisation has not shared any such information on its Twitter account as well.
We searched on Google with some of the names mentioned in the viral message and found a Facebook post that carried a link to a website called chinanews.com along with the contents of the viral message.
However, this link leads to the homepage of the website and not to any article.
Meanwhile, Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of Global Times tweeted on Tuesday, 16 June, mentioning that the Chinese government has not released the official numbers of the casualties that took place in the incident.
We also checked the archival history of the Twitter account of Global Times on archive.is and Wayback machine. The account had been archived once on Wednesday, 17 June on archive.is at 03:44 pm IST and once on the same day on Wayback machine at 07:43 am.
However, none of the archived snapshots showed any such information being shared by the account. Although it should be noted that not every detail of every account gets archived on the web.
The information that was revealed about the number of casualties was also source-based and there is no official figure which has been announced.
Taylor Fravel, Director of MIT Security Studies Program (SSP), also took to Twitter to highlight how China doesn’t own up and has a track record of hiding deaths.
Evidently, an unverified information is being circulated on social media to claim that Global Times released the list of 30 Chinese soldiers killed in Galwan valley.
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