New Delhi, Aug 14, 2020: Nearly two months after China’s People’s Liberation Army assault teams attacked troops of the 16 Bihar Regiment killing 20 soldiers, Chinese ambassador to India, Sun Weidong, has said that the “onus is not on China” for the June 15 Galwan Valley incident.
According to an Indian Express report, the Chinese envoy penned his opinion in China-India review, a Chinese embassy’s magazine that is published in Delhi.
“If one analyses this incident carefully, it’s quite clear that the onus is not on China. The Indian side crossed the LAC for provocation and attacked the Chinese border troops. The Indian forces seriously violated agreements on border issues between the two countries and severely violated basic norms governing international relations,” Weidong wrote in the magazine.
He urged the Narendra Modi government to “conduct a thorough investigation, hold the violators accountable, strictly discipline the frontline troops, and immediately stop all provocative acts to ensure such incidents will not occur again.”
The savage combat in June, with few parallels in the history of modern armies, claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers, including 16 Bihar’s commanding officer, Colonel Santosh Babu, many because of protracted exposure to sub-zero temperatures.
The killings marked the Indian Army’s worst losses since the 1999 Kargil war, and the most intense fighting between India and China since 1967, when 88 Indian soldiers and as many as 340 PLA troops were killed in the course of intense skirmishes near the Nathu La and Cho La passes, the gateways to the strategically-vital Chumbi valley.
On June 17, while paying tributes to martyred Indian soldiers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said “The country would be proud that our soldiers died fighting (’woh maarte-maarte mare hain’).” This was interpreted as a confirmation that Indian soldiers had inflicted casualties on the other side.
The Chinese police last week arrested a man for posting "rumours" on social media alleging that poor-quality military vehicles have caused the "death" of PLA soldiers during the India-China border clash. China has not released information on the casualties on its side but according to an American intelligence report it was 35.