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China confirms four casualties in Galwan clashes

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Indian Army:Handout via REUTERS

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 19: China on Friday officially confirmed that People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops suffered four casualties during the confrontation with Indian soldiers at Galwan valley, Ladakh in June last year. According to CCP mouthpiece Global Times, four frontier officers and soldiers stationed in the Karakoram Mountains were killed in the clashes. The report noted that they have been “recognised” by the Central Military Commission of China (CMC) for “defending national sovereignty” and “territorial integrity”.

Chinese top military body CMC awarded the regimental commander Qi Fabao 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 gave the first-class merit to Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran. While India announced the casualties immediately after the incident in June, China did not officially acknowledge any casualties until Friday.

A total of 20 Indian soldiers died at the border which marked the deadliest military conflicts between the two Asian giants in decades. Several media reports claimed that at least 45 Chinese soldiers were killed during the violent faceoff with Indian soldiers in Ladakh. After the incident, both sides increased the concentration of military forces in the region. However, the two neighbouring countries have agreed for disengagement last week after several rounds of military and diplomatic-level talks were held to resolve the border row.

According to the statement issued by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in the Parliament on Feb. 11, India and China have decided to disengage in the North and South bank of Pangong Tso in Eastern Ladakh that mandates both sides to cease deployment of troops in a “phased, coordinated and verifiable” manner.

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