China Officially Admits 4 PLA Soldiers Killed in Galwan Clash
A colonel who was leading them and suffered serious injuries has been conferred with an honorary title as well.
China has officially admitted that four military officers were killed in the clash with the Indian Army in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, Chinese media reported on Friday, 19 February. This is the first statement from China on the casualties suffered by the country’s military in the Galwan clash.
People’s Daily, China reported that China’s Central Military Commission had awarded four Chinese soldiers, “who were sacrificed in last June’s border conflict”, with posthumously honorary titles and first-class merit citations.
Additionally, Qi Fabao, the regimental commander from the PLA Xinjiang Military Command, who was leading the men and got seriously injured, received the title of "Hero Regimental Commander for Defending the Border", reported Global Times.
China also named the four soldiers who had lost their lives in the clash, saying that Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan, and Wang Zhuoran died during a “fierce struggle” against “foreign troops,” reported Reuters.
Chen Hongjun was posthumously awarded the title of “Guardian of the Frontier Hero,” while the other three were given first-class merit citations, according to Global Times.
“Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong and Xiao Siyuan fought to the last minute and sacrificed their lives. Wang Zhuoran, a fellow soldier, also gave his life to rescue his comrades when crossing the river to support the others,” the Global Times report states.
Twenty soldiers of the Indian Army were killed in the violent clash in Ladakh, and have been inscribed on a war memorial built in Eastern Ladakh.
On 16 June 2020, the Editor-in-Chief of Global Times, had tweeted that China had also suffered casualties in the clash, but did not want to release the figures because it “doesn’t want people of the two countries to compare the casualty number so to avoid stoking public mood”.
Earlier reports had claimed that a senior PLA officer had died in the clashes. This has, however, remained unconfirmed.
(With inputs from Global Times and Reuters.)
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