Sunday, October 17, 2021

What Prompted China To Accept Ladakh Casualties Despite Cloaking Info On All Other Wars?

China’s official admission that four PLA soldiers died in the Galwan Valley clash in eastern Ladakh, eight months after the bloody incident, has left many baffled.

However, a top Indian strategic expert claims Beijing “has a record of belatedly releasing information in small pieces, without revealing the full truth”.

Ladakh Lessons – India Must Learn To Decipher China’s ‘Unpredictable & Secretive’ Foreign Policy

Beijing had kept its casualties under wraps during the nine-month-long border standoff with India in eastern Ladakh. So, what prompted China to make an official disclosure now?

As reported by The Eurasian Times,  the two militaries came to an agreement earlier this month to disengage in the north and south banks of Pangong lake and start removing infrastructure and reduce troop presence in the area in a “phased, coordinated and verifiable” manner.

On February 19, Beijing for the first time admitted that its soldiers were indeed killed in the Galwan Valley clash last year. India had lost 20 of its soldiers when the PLA troops attacked them with stones, clubs, and sticks embedded with nails.

Beijing’s confirmations came after Russian state news agency TASS in a February 10 report claimed that at least 45 Chinese soldiers were killed in the clash, more than double the Indian casualties.

“Chinese and Indian forces clashed in the region in May and June 2020, resulting in at least 20 Indian and 45 Chinese servicemen dead,” said the TASS report.

However, China’s state-owned Global Times claimed China lost five Chinese frontier officers and soldiers during the clash of last year.

According to the report, the personnel were recognized by the Central Military Commission for defending national sovereignty in the border confrontation with China.

“The Central Military Commission awarded Qi Fabao, the regimental commander from the PLA Xinjiang Military Command, the title of ‘Heroic regimental commander for defending the border’, Chen Hongjun with ‘Hero to defend the border’, and awarded the first-class merit to Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan, and Wang Zhuoran.”

“This is the first time China has unveiled casualties and details of these officers and soldiers, four of whom died when dealing with the Indian military’s illegal trespassing of the Galwan Valley Line of Actual Control (LAC).” said the report.

Strangely enough, prior to the confirmations, Beijing had never publicly accepted the number of casualties from their side and maintained that their casualties had been very low as compared to India.

While the latest revelations have raised questions, Beijing has accused Indian media of “spreading false information”. Spokesperson Hua Chunying said, “The Defense Ministry spokesman has said this about this. I also just said whatever happened in Galvan Valley in June was very sad and its accountability goes to India. Some Indian media was spreading false information about it,

“The international community was confused. That is why we decided to bring the truth to the fore. We hope that now people will be able to understand right and wrong easily.”

The spokesperson also shed light on if the soldiers of both nations will choose to follow suit by retreating from other areas as well.

“Both countries are negotiating on this at the military and diplomatic level. Both countries have also started calling the troops back. China’s stand on the border dispute is quite clear. India is our important neighbor,”

“Good relations between the two countries are in the interest of the citizens of both countries. We hope that India will also move forward with this intention.”

However, India’s well-known strategic expert Brahma Chellaney says China has a track record of delaying the release of crucial information.

“CCP (the Chinese Communist Party) has a record of belatedly releasing information in small pieces, without ever revealing the full truth. US intelligence put China’s death toll at no less than India’s. But Russia’s TASS agency on Feb. 10 said the clashes left “at least 20 Indian & 45 Chinese servicemen dead.”

Labeling China as the world’s most powerful propaganda machine, Chellaney compared the current scenario to that of 1979.

“China’s first combat deaths since its 1979 Vietnam attack were a national humiliation. Eight months after the clash with India, China admits some fatalities. It will admit more later. But truth and CCP don’t go together. So, China will never come clean on its exact fatality toll,” Chellaney tweeted.

“With the world’s most powerful propaganda machine, the CCP manufactures “reality”…In that clash, PLA troops laid an ambush and then attacked with clubs wrapped with barbed wire, leading to nighttime hand-to-hand combat.”

“China disclosed its 1962 War toll (grossly lowered) only in 1994, but still cloaks 1979 War toll. It also hides its June 2020 Galwan toll, but today, while honoring 4 slain soldiers and a wounded officer, it released this propaganda video of that clash, triggered by a PLA ambush,” said Chellaney.

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