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Update: 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 .

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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.

Also on 19 February, state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) released for the first time video footage of the confrontation showing that it went on for hours and involved many troops from both sides, some of whom were armed with sticks and iron rods.

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. It also began building encampments to weather the harsh Himalayan environment where temperatures average about -30°C in winter.

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