China Acknowledges 4 Deaths in Last Year’s Border Clash With India
When a senior Chinese officer, Qi Febao, encountered Indian troops in the Himalayas last June, he was suddenly drowned in a conflict laden with pipes, clubs and stones, according to the People’s Liberation Army of China.
It said that one battalion commander was identified as Chen Hongjun, who led a charge of reinforcements to protect him, which became the deadliest conflict in more than four decades. Strained mountain range Between China and India.
The senior officer had a gash of about four inches on his forehead but survived. Chen Hongjun died along with three other soldiers by the People’s Liberation Army’s Daily on Friday Most detailed official account The battle so far. One of them was sucked under the current of the Galvan River, which rises from a valley at an elevation of about 14,000 feet.
This account was China’s first apparent acknowledgment in the military’s official newspaper that its soldiers had died on June 15, a fierce form of series of confrontations with the conflict-ridden parts of the border in the past eight months.
India lost 20 soldiers That’s the dispute And honored them with public rituals of mourning, which until now, China had not extended to its own troops. The clashes have badly affected relations between the two countries, which had been improving since last year.
It is unclear why the People’s Liberation Army now disclosed the four deaths. On doing so, it announced that it honored Qi Fabao, a regimental commander with two decades of service along the mountainous border, an honorary title of Hero of Defense the Border.
The same award was given posthumously to all four who died. (The account did not confer ranks of officers and soldiers.)
“We are the borderline of the motherland,” said Xiao Siyuan, “one of the soldiers who died was written in a diary before the deadly conflict,” and every inch of our land beneath our feet is the territory of the motherland. “
The new details came after the two countries reached an agreement to withdraw their forces from another flashpoint along the border where the skirmishes occurred: Palong Tso, a beautiful glacial lake not far from Galvan.
Both sides appeared eager to prevent tensions from turning into open conflict – while openly not accepting any territory along the border that remains undefined in places.
“In India, critics are saying that there is no harm to India at this stage because this incompatibility is limited to the shores of Pangong Lake and both forces are withdrawing,” said DS Hooda, a retired lieutenant general who served as chief Worked in the Northern Command of the Indian Army. “The big question is how it will apply in other areas.”
China’s version of the deadly conflict could not be independently verified. It blamed India for controversy and widespread tension, while never using the country’s name. The Chinese simply confronted “foreign forces”, the article read.
India, in turn, blames China for transgressing the past. Line of Actual Control It separates the two sides in disputed areas.
Ren Guoqiang, spokesman for China’s Ministry of National Defense, said the article was an attempt to correct exaggerated and malleable attempts by India and others to distort the facts. “History cannot be tampered with,” it said in a statement on the ministry’s website. “Heroes cannot be forgotten.”
Until now, China was only explicitly referenced “loss” During the conflict last summer. The article did not present the four deaths as a complete count. Indian officials have claimed that the Chinese losses were at least 20 fatalities to India. An American intelligence official said last summer that China had deliberately concealed the deaths of its soldiers, suggesting that there had been a drop of between 20 and 30.
In widespread shock, the skirmishes in the Galvan Valley were described with people on the Indian side providing a window into how China views the deadlock and how it appeals to honor and sacrifice to its own forces.
In some places, hegeography was discussed in the Chinese account, including cinematic scenes that were somewhat inappropriate.
“Take care of my mother if I die!” The soldier who drowned, identified as Wang Zuoran, said that before he shouted to another soldier, “topped the bone-chilling edge.”
Hari Kumar contributed reporting and Claire Fu contributed research.