For the first time in eight months, China has admitted that it lost four of its soldiers in the Galwan Valley clash with India that broke out in June last year, near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Friday released a statement admitting that four Chinese soldiers, who died in the border conflict in Eastern Ladakh were posthumously awarded honorary titles and first-class merit citation.
While China claims four casualties in the Galwan Valley clash, a Russian News Agency report has stated that at least 20 Indian and 45 Chinese servicemen died in the conflict. Another American intelligence report claims that the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35.
However, the question that arises over China's sudden admission is that - why is the country owning up to its casualties 8 months after the clash with India? "It is shameful for any country to not honour its martyred soldiers," said Major (retired) Gaurav Arya, reacting to the development.
In the last 8 months, India not only paid homage to its soldiers who lost their lives during skirmishes with PLA troops in Ladakh but also honoured them with gallantry awards, he noted.
"What kind of a nation does not honour its fallen? What kind of a nation hides its casualties? There has been a huge uproar in China where common citizens have taken to the streets and asked for accountability for the Xi Jinping government. The people are questioning why are we unable to honour its slain soldiers," Major Arya said.
Playing with the emotions of the Chinese people and not acknowledging and honour its soldiers will prove to be Jinping's biggest military mistake yet, he said.
20 Indian Army soldiers including Commanding Officer were martyred when a violent faceoff took place on Monday night while the de-escalation process was underway in the Galwan Valley. Since then, 9 rounds of India-China talks have been held to move forward on the long-negotiated disengagement process in eastern Ladakh.
The two countries last week reached an agreement on disengagement in the North and South banks of Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh that mandates both sides to "cease" forward deployment of troops in a "phased, coordinated and verifiable" manner, in a breakthrough after a nine-month border standoff.