India has learnt that China on 24 June had attempted to pacify the bereaving families of the PLA soldiers killed in the skirmish with Indian troops along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC). Beijing has officially not recognised these deaths.
Editor of Chinese Communist Party regime’s mouthpiece Global Times Hu Xijin wrote, “The dead have been treated with the highest respect in the military, and that information will eventually be reported to society at the right time so that heroes can be honoured and remembered as they deserve”.
The editorial has surfaced two days after a video emerged from China showing that the families of the dead PLA soldiers were outraged. Unlike Indian soldiers, their ‘heroes’ had received no honour and no acknowledgement, they lamented before the authorities. Although Global Times conceded that jawans of 16 Bihar Regiment of the Indian Army had killed “less than 20” PLA soldiers, the communist government has remained tight-lipped on the issue.
“Thus far, the Chinese military has not released any information about the deceased… I understand that this is an expedient move with the aim of not irritating public opinion in the two countries,” Hu wrote.
Lamenting that the Indian media claimed that at least 40 Chinese soldiers were killed, and India has handed over the bodies of 16 Chinese soldiers, the mouthpiece editor said these were “unchallenged rumours”.
As per the estimates of the Indian Army, the Chinese casualty at the Galwan Valley skirmish is no less than 50, which included dead soldiers and 18 permanently disabled men of the PLA with broken necks and spines.
While China has retreated 5 km back from the LoAC at the Galwan Valley, the PLA opened a new front in Depsang and other places. However, the location of the new fronts makes China more vulnerable, as these areas of northern Ladakh give easier access to Tibet than to India.