China has officially confirmed that People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops were killed in clash with Indian soldiers in Galwan valley of Ladakh last year. According to a Global Times report, five frontier officers and soldiers stationed in the Karakoram Mountains were killed in the June 2020 clash.
The report said that they have been "recognised" by the Central Military Commission of China (CMC) for "defending national sovereignty" and "territorial integrity". Chinese top military body Central Military Commission "awarded" Qi Fabao, the regimental commander 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 "awarded" first-class merit to Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran.
This is the first time China has acknowledged casualties. While India had announced the casualties immediately after the incident, China did not officially acknowledge the casualties until Friday. A total of 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in the Galwan Valley clash. The incident marked the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in decades.
Several media reports, however, claimed that at least 45 Chinese soldiers were killed during the violent faceoff with Indian soldiers at Galwan valley.
After June 2020 clash, the two Asian giants increased the concentration of forces in the region. Each side deployed as many as 50,000 troops. Both sides also had rushed a large number of battle tanks, armoured vehicles and heavy equipment to the treacherous and high-altitude areas of eastern Ladakh region after tension escalated.
The two neighbouring nations agreed for disengagement only last week after several rounds of military and diplomatic-level talks to resolve the face-off. According to a statement made by Defence minister Rajnath Singh in the Parliament on February 11, India and China have agreed for disengagement in the North and South bank of Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh that mandates both sides to cease forward deployment of troops in a "phased, coordinated and verifiable" manner.