China has admitted that four of its soldiers died during the clash with Indian troops in Galwan Valley in june last year. China said the soldiers were posthumously awarded honorary titles and first-class merit citations.The four soldiers were honoured by the Chinese leadership, reported the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese military, on Friday.
This comes nine months after China refused to disclose details of casualties in the bloodied fight with India.
“Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran died a fierce struggle” against “foreign troops” that violated an agreement and crossed into the Chinese side, Reuters reported citing Chinese media reports.
“The 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,” reported Global Times.
The announcement marks the first public admission by China of its casualties in the Galwan clash at Line of Actual control (LAC). India and China had been engaged in a border stand-off since May last year until they jointly agreed to disengage their troops and tanks from the banks of Pangong Lake in Eastern Ladakh.
The tensions between the two nations heightened when soldiers from the two armies clashed in Galwan Valley in june 2020.
India had confirmed the loss of 20 Indian soldiers shortly after the clashes on June 2020 – soldiers who were honoured for their bravery with their names installed in memorials. China never officially declared its official casualty count, but various reports have estimated the number to be over 40.
So far, Beijing had never acknowledged Chinese casualties. The admission from China comes days after India’s Northern Army Commander referred to the figure of 45 Chinese casualties reported by Russian news agency TASS on February 10.