Beijing: Four Chinese soldiers were killed during a fierce hand-to-hand battle with the Indian Army in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June last year, the PLA acknowledged for the first time on Friday, eight months after the biggest military confrontation between the two neighbours in over five decades.
China’s military authorities have honoured two officers and three soldiers, including four who received the awards posthumously, for defending the country’s western border, the official Xinhua news agency reported, quoting the The People’s Liberation Army Daily, the newspaper of the Chinese military.
Five Chinese frontier officers and soldiers stationed in the Karakoram Mountains have been recognised by the Central Military Commission of China (CMC) for their sacrifice in the border confrontation with India, which occurred in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, the PLA Daily said.
The title of “border-defending hero” was conferred on Battalion Commander Chen Hongjun posthumously, while Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran received first-class merit. Qi Fabao, who was seriously injured in the skirmish, received the title of “hero regiment commander for defending the border,” the Xinhua report said.
Three PLA soldiers were killed in the combat while another soldier died while crossing the icy river when he went to support his army mates.
Asked why China chose to reveal the casualties suffered during the Galwan incident after over eight months, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, “the report has been revealed to give the truth to the public because the truth is long awaited and is necessary for the people to know the true story.”
India has said that 20 of its soldiers were killed in the fierce hand-to-hand combat on June 15 in Galwan Valley, an incident that marked the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in over four decades. While China acknowledged casualties, it did not disclose details.