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China reveals four PLA soldiers died in June 2020 border clash with India

Chinese state-owned media has revealed for the first time that four People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers died as a result of the clash with Indian Army (IA) troops along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LoAC) in the Himalayas on the night of 15-16 June 2020.

“Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong, and Xiao Siyuan fought to the last minute and sacrificed their lives. Wang Zhuoran, a fellow soldier, also gave his life to rescue his comrades when crossing the river to support the others,” reported the Global Times newspaper on 19 February, citing the People’s Liberation Army Daily .

The paper also noted that these four soldiers as well as Qi Fabao, the regimental commander from the PLA’s Xinjiang Military Command, have been recognised by China’s Central Military Commission “for defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity in the border confrontation with India” in the Galwan Valley region. The PLA soldiers were stationed in the Karakoram Mountains.

The clash, which also resulted in the deaths of 20 IA soldiers, was the most serious confrontation between the two armies along the LoAC since 1975. Subsequently, each side mobilised about 50,000 troops, in addition to deploying tanks, howitzers, and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to the area and began building encampments to weather the harsh Himalayan environment, where temperatures average about -30°C in winter.

The publication of the report comes as the PLA and IA have begun withdrawing troops along the northern and southern banks of the 4,350 mhigh Pangong Tso (Pangong Lake) in the Himalayan Ladakh region, where the two armies have been locked in a stand-off since May 2020.

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