The communist regime of China has arrested three bloggers for questioning the official version of the Galwan Valley clash on 15 June last year. Police arrested investigative journalist Qiu Ziming (38) on 20 February in Nanjing.
On 19 February, the Chinese military had announced honours for five People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers, including four who died and a commander who was injured in the Galwan Valley clash. This was about eight months after the kin of the dead soldiers of PLA cursed their government for not being able to perform the last rites as their government were not recognising the deaths that occurred in the clash with Indian jawans.
Qiu questioned the number of dead declared by the Chinese government. Russian sources had said recently that around 45 Chinese soldiers had died, a claim reiterated by former Northern Command chief Lt Gen YK Joshi in numerous interviews last week. Even before that, days after the Galwan Valley clash, media in the US, citing readings from American satellites coupled with assessments by the CIA, had estimated that while the conflict cost the Indian side 20 soldiers, China had lost 53.
The Chinese blogger was sceptical, suggesting more had died. He questioned why it took the Chinese state eight months to acknowledge the deaths, when the Indian side had immediately acknowledged its dead.
Reports said that another journo was arrested for a similar reason in Beijing on Sunday, though details were not not yet known, except that the scribe had “insulted” the PLA soldiers who died in Galwan. A third person was detained for a week in Sichuan after posting content that reportedly insulted PLA soldiers.
The border conflict between India and China began in May 2020 and the stand-off escalated on 15 June when Indian and Chinese troops clashed near Patrol Point 14 in Galwan valley, which marked the most serious military conflicts between the two sides since the 1962 war.
The Chinese used stones, clubs, and sticks embedded with nails to attack Indian soldiers. After multiple rounds of talks at both military and diplomatic levels following the clash, Indian and Chinese armies reached an agreement to disengage their troops in the north and south banks of Pangong Tso. This agreement mandates both sides to avoid forward deployment of troops in a “phased, coordinated and verifiable” manner.