4 years after Galwan clash, China toll a mystery : The Tribune India

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4 years after Galwan clash, China toll a mystery

The clash between the Indian and Chinese troops occurred at Galwan on the intervening night of June 15 and 16 in 2020

4 years after Galwan clash, China toll a mystery

A video grab of the India-China clash in Galwan in June 2020. file



Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, June 14

The exact number of Chinese troops who died in a deadly clash with the Indian Army at Galwan in eastern Ladakh on the intervening night of June 15 and 16 in 2020 remains a mystery even four years after the incident.

Western researchers put it at 38-40

  • The clash between the Indian and Chinese troops occurred at Galwan on the intervening night of June 15 and 16 in 2020
  • India announced the deaths of its 20 soldiers on June 20 that year and honoured some of them with gallantry medals
  • Though China, in February 2021, accepted the death of their four soldiers, western researchers put the number at 38-40

India announced the deaths of its 20 soldiers on June 20 that year and honoured some of them with gallantry medals. Having remained in denial of any loss on their side, the Chinese authorities, in February 2021, accepted that their four soldiers were killed in the clash. Independent western researchers, however, put the number of Chinese casualties at 38-40. In early 2022, an Australian newspaper claimed that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China lost 38 men in the Galwan clash.

Within the strategic circles, a section is of the opinion that it will be appropriate to release details about the Galwan clash by way of an authoritative research paper by one of the Indian think-tanks to set the record straight once and for all.

Over the past few days, Chinese social media handles have been giving a totally false narrative on the Galwan clash.

Silence on the matter would amount to a throwback to the 1960s mindset when foreign writers drove the narrative on the reasons and outcome of the 1962 war with China. The setback to the PLA when it lost 400 men in a clash at Nathu La in Sikkim in 1967 is also off public memory.

In its report, the Australian newspaper, had made two points. First: “PLA soldiers panicked into retreat” after seeing the initial injuries inflicted by Indian troops to Colonel Qi Fabao, who was “hit on the head by an Indian solider”.

Second: As the “panicked PLA retreated”, junior sergeant Wang Zhuoran led a group across the Galwan. “At least 38 PLA troops along with Wang were washed away and drowned that night… of which only Wang was declared among the four officially dead soldiers,” it said. If the PLA panicked and retreated, it’s a significant victory and it needs to be told to the world and also Quad partners Japan, Australia and the US.

After the 1962 war with China, Australia-based author Neville Maxwell, in his book “India’s China War” (published in 1970), blamed India for the “forward policy” of November1961. He identified it as a trigger point for “justifying” China’s attack along the disputed frontier.

The Henderson Brooks-PS Bhagat Commission appointed by the government after the 1962 war gave its report, but it remains a classified top-secret.

For years, Maxwell’s opinion discredited the very-justified Indian military action along the LAC. “The History of the Conflict with China, 1962”, released for “restricted” circulation by the MoD in March 1993, justified the “forward policy”, saying it was to restrict the Chinese to its claim-line of 1956 and stop claims made in 1960 over the new territory.

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#China #Indian Army #Ladakh


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