China-India border clash in June left four Chinese dead, one injured
China-India Border Clash Latest News: Four Chinese dead

China has for the first time revealed that four of its soldiers were killed, and one seriously wounded, in last year’s Himalayan border clash with India.

Previously unknown details of the details of the violent brawl, which broke out between PLA and Indian troops in the Galwan Valley in June, were also made public, in a PLA Daily newspaper report on Friday detailing honours awarded to the five soldiers.

Until now, it had only been confirmed that at least one Chinese soldier was killed in the encounter, which also left at least 20 Indians dead. Many of the Indian soldiers were said to have died from their injuries because they could not get treatment in time in the remote and high-altitude location.

The five PLA soldiers were described by the Central Military Commission as “heroes defending the border”, according to the report.

Those killed included Qi Fabao, the regimental commander from the PLA Xinjiang Military Command. Qi Fabao, the regimental commander from the PLA Xinjiang Military Command, who survived the incident, was given a hero award, along with battalion commander Chen Hongjun, who was honoured posthumously. Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran were posthumously given first-class merit awards.

Chinese defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said China had decided to reveal the details of casualties on Friday to clear up rumours over the incident.

“The Indian Army illegally crossed the line and took the lead in provocation, attacking the Chinese and creating conflicts in the Galwan Valley. The Indian side was solely responsible for it,” he said. “The Indian side has repeatedly hyped up casualties and distorted the truth.”

India had confirmed the loss of 20 Indian soldiers shortly after the clashes on June 15 - soldiers who were honoured for their bravery with their names installed in memorials.

The clash between hundreds of soldiers of India and China took place in the Galwan Valley when Chinese soldiers prevented Indian soldiers from marching up to their traditional patrolling point in the area, which had also seen clashes in the 1962 Sino-Indian War.

After the pitched hand-to-hand battles in Galwan, India and China agreed to the creation of a buffer zone in the area, where there is no man's land that neither side patrols.

Demilitarised buffer zone in eastern Ladakh

Military veterans on Friday questioned the government’s “concessions” in agreeing to create a 10km-wide, demilitarised buffer zone within India-claimed territory in eastern Ladakh as part of the agreement with China to disengage troops from the Pangong Lake’s north and south banks.

They said India had committed a “big blunder” by not forcing China to agree to simultaneous disengagement from the Depsang Plains, which is operationally critical for the Indian Army and where the Chinese are said to be entrenched 18km inside India-claimed lines.

Retired Colonel Ajai Shukla tweeted: “Indian, Chinese troops start disengaging in Ladakh’s Pangong sector. A buffer zone separates the two sides — a 10-km stretch between Finger 3 and Finger 8. Indian Army has patrolled this area since the 1962 Sino-Indian war but now cannot enter the zone.”

India claims territory till Finger 8 on the Pangong Lake’s north bank but the Chinese have advanced 8km up to Finger 4 from their erstwhile position at Finger 8.

Under the disengagement agreement, the Chinese would return to the east of Finger 8 and the Indian troops will reciprocate by pulling back to their permanent base near Finger 3. Neither side will patrol the buffer zone till all the modalities are worked out at operational and diplomatic levels.

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