Evidence from numerous independent social media researchers in China have indicated that the People’s Liberation Army lost over 40 soldiers in the Galwan valley clash in June 2020, the editor of an investigative newspaper in Australia told NDTV today.
The Klaxon’s editor Anthony Klan, referring to a year-long investigation by Chinese social media researchers, said on the night of June 5, 2020, there was a confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops, after which both sides agreed to remove infrastructure on the immediate area by the Galwan river.
On June 15, the Chinese troops, however, tried to remove a makeshift bridge that Indian soldiers used to cross and check the Chinese activity, Mr Klan told NDTV, adding this sparked the violent faceoff. At least 38 Chinese soldiers who were on the bridge fell into the icy Galwan river in sub-zero temperature, got washed away and drowned, he said.
China claims four soldiers died in the clash. Twenty Indian soldiers died in action in Galwan.
“Rather than removing its infrastructure, Chinese forces removed a temporary bridge that India was using in order to inspect the area, and this led to the June 15 conflict… That evening when Chinese soldiers who have come across were heading back, several were killed, we were told,” Mr Klan told NDTV.
China then quickly moved to censor information on social media about the casualties.
“Conversations with people on the ground have considerable details on the Chinese soldiers who got washed away, adding weight to the fact that China has gone out of its way to censor any information regarding casualties,” Mr Klan said, adding, “We know that it’s substantially more than four deaths. The precise number that keeps coming back is 38.”
There were reports that several first-person account of the Galwan clash had surfaced on social media in China, in the days following the violent faceoff.
“That’s correct. And, of course, the fact that that was taken down, and with such haste, we’ve managed to obtain recorded records of this source data, but then it was taken down so quickly, gives us another strong indication of China’s eagerness to not have any more debate or discussion regarding the casualties,” Mr Klan said.
The report by The Klaxon also quoted a Weibo user as claiming to have served in the area. The user claimed that the Chinese army was creating infrastructure in the buffer zone, violating the mutual agreement and had been trying to expand its patrolling limits within the buffer zone since April 2020.