While there have been various speculations over the confirmed number of Chinese troops killed in the Galwan Valley’s clashes between India and China on 15 June, it has now been confirmed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that one of its commanding officer was among the dead.
During the military talks between the officials of the Indian Army and the PLA last week, it was corroborated by the Chinese side that one of their CO had died in the brawl, the Economic Times said in this report. This becomes the first admission by China of any fatality of their troops.
However In tune with its aggressive statements following the Galwan face-off, China’s state-backed media Global Times said that China did not release its casualty numbers to avoid an ‘escalation’ claiming that ‘the Indian Government would come under pressure’ if it did so. The Chinese mouthpiece claimed that any speculations alleging that Chinese casualty numbers were higher than India’s were false, maintaining that its numbers were ‘less than 20’, in comparison to the casualties on the Indian side.
The reason why China did not release casualties number is that China also wants to avoid an escalation. If China releases the number which is less than 20, the Indian govt would again come under pressure: observer https://t.co/ik664PrYLU
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) June 22, 2020
This summersault by Global Times, which is significant given that China hasn’t yet so much as acknowledged its casualties let along admit to a number close to 20, comes days after the media house said that they were refraining from sharing casualty
numbers of Chinese troops in a bid to avoid ‘stoking public mood.’ Hu Xijin, Global Times Editor-in-Chief last week had remarked that Beijing did not want to compare casualty numbers of the two countries post the violent clashes as a sign of ‘goodwill’.
China has not released any information on the casualties suffered by the People’s Liberation Army soldiers during the violent face-off in eastern Ladakh – something that it has allegedly drawing flak over within its borders despite the administration’s authoritarianism. While at least 20 Indians soldiers were martyred, ANI, quoting Chinese cables, suggests 43 casualties
including dead and injured from the Chinese side. Meanwhile, US intelligence said 35 Chinese had died, while Prasar Bharti, quoting sources, said 45 had died.
Also the Globel Times editor Hu Xijin threatened India saying that the country “will pay a heavy price” after India gave complete authority to the Indian Armed Forces to act and react as deemed fit according to the situation on the ground. This move by the Centre gives full authority to the armed forces which means that the armed forces will no longer be bound by restrictions on the use of firearms and will respond to provocation as deemed fit if China turns hostile.
Indian media reported that Indian army along the border with China had been given “complete freedom of action”, including using firearms in “extraordinary situations.” If true, this is a serious violation of agreement, & the Indian side will pay a heavy price for any such action. pic.twitter.com/ukmIZIX9Mp
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) June 21, 2020