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China admits 5 officers, soldiers killed in Galwan Valley clash

China admits 5 officers, soldiers killed in Galwan Valley clash

Beijing: Five Chinese officers and soldiers were killed in the clash with Indian soldiers last year at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has officially admitted for the first time.

The five officers and soldiers were honoured by the Central Military Commission of China (CMC), the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese military, reported on Friday.

Those killed included Qi Fabao, the regimental commander from the PLA Xinjiang Military Command, state-run Global Times quoted PLA Daily report as saying. The PLA leadership headed by President Xi Jinping honoured Qi Fabao, Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran.

India says at least 30 Chinese soldiers were killed in the clash. So far, Beijing had never acknowledged casualties. The Russian official news agency TASS had reported on February 10 that 45 Chinese soldiers were killed in the clash.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in action in the Galwan Valley clash on June 15, the worst border confrontation between the two countries in over four decades.

Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times that China "unveiled details of the incident to refute previous disinformation that stated China suffered greater casualties than India or China incited the incident".

China's admission comes at a time troops of both sides are in the process of disengagement at the North and South banks of the Pangong Lake, the epicenter of the standoff which began in May last year.

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