PLA soldiers who died in border clash with India honoured by military

Published February 19, 2021
Satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies show construction in the Galwan river valley near the disputed border known as the Line of Actual Control between India and China. — AP/File
Satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies show construction in the Galwan river valley near the disputed border known as the Line of Actual Control between India and China. — AP/File

The Central Military Commission conferred posthumous citations to four members of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force who died during a border clash in June last year in the Galwan Valley.

China's top military authority, the commission gave the honorary title of "Hero Safeguarding the Motherland and Protecting Borders" to Chen Hongjun, commander of a motorised infantry battalion under a border defence regiment, and awarded a first-grade service citation to Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran, soldiers of the regiment, PLA Daily, the military's flagship newspaper, reported on its front page on Friday.

In addition, the commission also conferred an honorary title of "Heroic Regiment Leader Safeguarding the Motherland and Protecting Borders" to Qi Fabao, commander of the border defence regiment, the newspaper said, noting that Qi was seriously injured during the physical conflict.

In China's military honour system, an honorary title is the highest recognition and award to a service member, followed by a first-grade service citation.

This is the first time the Chinese military has published the number of casualties, the names of the fallen soldiers and their stories in the border clash with India.

According to the PLA Daily report, "foreign troops" severely violated bilateral pacts between the two militaries by crossing the Line of Actual Control, building illegal structures on the Chinese side, and doing provocative acts, in attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo along the border. They even violently attacked Chinese officers and soldiers who came to negotiate the situation in a peaceful manner, the report said.

Having seen their peaceful efforts to protect bilateral relations and border stability were returned only with more aggression, the Chinese troops fought back and gained "significant victories" and effectively safeguarded national sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to the newspaper.

However, the border tension escalated in June as foreign soldiers crossed the Line of Actual Control again in brazen violation of bilateral agreements.

Following border dispute rules and terms agreed by both sides, Qi, commander of the border defence regiment, led several soldiers to negotiate with the foreign troops, only to find that they were framed by the opposition, who had intentionally mobilised and deployed a large number of soldiers in the hope that the Chinese would be scared off.

Despite Qi and his soldiers being outnumbered, they bravely defended themselves in front of foreign troops' steel bars, clubs and rocks before Chen Hongjun, the battalion commander, led his men to join the confrontation, according to PLA Daily.

Within a short time, the Chinese soldiers expelled the foreign troops who "paid a heavy price" and left many injured, the report said.

It explained that Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong and Xiao Siyuan died courageously fighting. Wang Zhuoran died as he tried to save his comrades who were trapped in a freezing river when they rushed to take part in the conflict.


This article originally appeared on China Daily and has been reproduced with permission.

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