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China unveils details of 4 PLA martyrs at Galwan Valley border clash for first time, reaffirming responsibility falls on India

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Five Chinese frontier officers and soldiers stationed in the Karakoram Mountains have been recognized by the Central Military Commission of China for defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity in the border confrontation with India, which occurred in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, the PLA Daily reported on Friday. 

The 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 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).

The report also revisited the whole incident - how the Indian military deployed a large number of soldiers who premeditatedly hid, trying to force the Chinese military to concede. How the Chinese soldiers defended the sovereignty of the country amid attacks of steel tubes, cudgels and stones was also highlighted.

A total of 20 Indian soldiers died in the skirmish. This is the worst border conflict between the two countries in nearly 45 years. Indian media had previously boasted that the Chinese military suffered more deaths in the region. 

It is noticeable that the PLA Daily report used "foreign military" to refer to the Indian military, a move that showed China's restraint of not inciting sentiments of the public against the background of the current disengagement of troops of China and India along the border areas.

"Since April 2020, relevant foreign military violated the previous agreement… they trespassed the border line to build roads and bridges and intentionally incited troubles, changing the status quo along the border… they even violently attacked Chinese soldiers that were sent for communication," read the PLA Daily report. 

When facing the Indian military's trespassing and provocations in May 2020, Chen Xiangrong and other Chinese soldiers fought back and forced them to return. "When facing enemies that outnumbered us, none of us flinched. Amid their stone attacks, we drove them away," Chen wrote in his diary.

In June 2020, the Indian military violated the previous consensus and trespassed the LAC and built tents. Out of respect to previous agreements and rituals, Qi Fabao, regimental commander of the Chinese military, went to negotiate with a few soldiers. However, the Indian military showed no sincerity and had already deployed more soldiers in an attempt to force the Chinese soldiers to concede. 

When facing more Indian soldiers appearing from nearby mountains, while reproaching the Indian military for destroying the agreement, Qi organized Chinese soldiers to move into combat formations and engage in any confrontation. 

The Indian military then started to attack the Chinese soldiers by using steel tubes and cudgels and throwing stones. Qi was under heavy attack and sustained a serious head injury.

Chen Hongjun went to rescue Qi. Chen Xiangrong fought on the front lines and Xiao Siyuan, who was taking videos as evidence, also went to fight. 

With many Chinese soldiers coming to support and fight bravely, the Indian military had been utterly defeated - many running away, leaving numerous injured and dead, according to the report.

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.