New Delhi: Russian news agency TASS Wednesday claimed that “at least 20 Indian soldiers and 45 Chinese servicemen” were killed during the clashes at the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June last year.
In an article detailing the statement by the Chinese Defence Ministry on China and India withdrawing troops from the shared border near Pangong Tso lake, TASS said that “Chinese and Indian forces clashed in the region in May and June 2020, resulting in at least 20 Indian and 45 Chinese servicemen dead.”
The report also said that it is only after the ninth round of negotiations at the army commanders’ level that an agreement was reached for a simultaneous withdrawal of forces, which had increased to 50,000 on each side.
In June 2020, China had termed reports of more than 40 Chinese soldiers being killed in the face-off in eastern Ladakh as “fake news”.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had said, “As for what you saw in the media, for example some people alleged that casualties on the Chinese amounted to 40. I can tell you for sure this is fake news,’’ he said, without giving any details.
China refused to reveal casualties
While 20 Indian soldiers were killed in Galwan Valley clash, China did not reveal its casualty figure. When asked at a webinar about reports from US intelligence which said the China’s People’s Liberation Army has suffered 34 casualties, Beijing’s Ambassador to India, Sun Weidong did not answer the question and said it would not help in improving the situation.
There were also reports putting a number to the deaths on the Chinese side. BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who has also been accused of inciting mobs prior to the Delhi riots, falsely claimed that 100 Chinese soldiers were killed. While an American weekly news magazine, NewsWeek, claimed that over 60 Chinese soldiers were killed in the clash with India.
China, Russia and India are all part of the group of emerging national economies called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).