Months after the June 15 clashes at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, China’s state media on Friday released footage of the skirmish between the Chinese and Indian troops. It was also the first time when the Chinese admitted that four of its soldiers, including a commander, died in the clashes in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed.
The defence ministry of China, in a rare occurrence, confirmed that four of their troops were killed in the clashes. The dramatic footage, which was shared by CCTV and Global Times Editor-in-chief, showed Indian soldiers wading through a river towards their Chinese counterparts.
Since a bilateral agreement prohibits the usage of guns by either side, the clashes usually involve sticks and fist-fighting. Another part of the clip shows the troops clashing in the dark as well. The June 15 brawl between the two sides was the deadliest, leading to casualties on both sides, in decades.
On February 11, in a breakthrough after an almost eight-month-long standoff, the Chinese and Indian authorities had agreed to disengage in the north and south of the Pangong lake. Speaking in the Parliament, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the Chinese will move to Finger 8 while the Indians will move back towards Finger 3. He added that India will retain its positions at the Dhan Singh Thapa administration camp.
Besides the disengagement, all new structures will also be dismantled and no side will patrol the region, for the time being, multiple news platforms reported.
For the future, the three conditions that Rajnath Singh underlined for the Chinese were:
Following the de-escalation in the Pangong region, top army officers of the two countries are once again expected to meet on Saturday to discuss further disengagement in other areas such as Gogra and Hot Springs, India Today reported.
In September last year, following a meeting between Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and his Indian counterpart, S Jaishankar, in Moscow, the two countries had, in a joint statement, agreed to de-escalate.
“Border defence forces of both countries should continue the dialogue, disengage as soon as possible, maintain the necessary distance, and ease the situation on the ground,” the statement said.
The two nuclear-armed nations also agreed to “avoid actions that may escalate the situation”.
First Published: IST