China reveals truth of Galwan Valley clash after half a year, showing the country as ‘a lion with wisdom and kindness’
Published: Feb 19, 2021 04:51 PM

China on Friday unveiled details of the Galwan Valley conflict of June 2020 to pay respect to martyrs who sacrificed their lives to safeguard national sovereignty and territory and also to clarity the truth by revisiting the whole incident since India had hyped the casualties, distorted truth and tried to mislead the international community and defame the Chinese military, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, a Defense Ministry spokesperson, said on Friday. 

Different from the report by the PLA Daily, which used "foreign military" to refer to the Indian military, the Defense Ministry spokesperson directly named India and its military. Analysts believe that China chose to unveil the details and casualties of the Galwan Valley conflict at this time, months after it occurred, demonstrated its image as "a lion with wisdom and kindness." 

"We must note that the Galwan Valley skirmish in June of last year is the Indian military's responsibility, as they illegally trespassed the Line of Actual Control, initiated the incident and violently assaulted and attacked the Chinese military, causing casualties on both sides," Ren said in a release on Friday. 

Earlier on Friday, Chinese media the PLA Times, for the first time, unveiled details and casualties of Chinese frontier officers and soldiers in the Galwan Valley skirmish in June 2020, and by revisiting the whole incident, it showed the world that the responsibility lies on the Indian side. 

Four Chinese officers and soldiers sacrificed their lives, and one was heavily injured during the incident. They have been awarded by the Central Military Commission. A total of 20 Indian soldiers died in the skirmish.

The four martyrs were battalion commander Chen Hongjun and soldiers Xiao Siyuan, Wang Zhuoran and Chen Xiangrong. They were born in 1987, 1996, 1996, and 2001, respectively. Both Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran were 24 years old. Chen Xiangrong died at the age of 19.

Chen Hongjun


Chen Xiangrong


Xiao Siyuan


Wang Zhuoran

Indian media and some Indian politicians had hyped the casualties since June 2020, some even saying that 45 Chinese soldiers died in the "free-style fight." 

Ren said on Friday that after the clash, China had made efforts to deescalate the situation, maintained restraint to keep ties, and demonstrated the conscientiousness as a great power. But India hyped the casualties, distorted the truth and tried to mislead the international community and defame the Chinese military.

History cannot be distorted and heroes cannot be forgotten. The Chinese media made the reports about the heroes to help clarify the truth, dismiss misunderstandings and let the international community know who is right and who is wrong, Ren said. 

Timeline of China-India border clash Graphic:Global Times

China's stance to solve the border issues with India has always been clear, consistent and sincere - we have made efforts in solving disputes through talks in order to maintain stable ties between the two militaries, to deescalate the situation and to restore peace and stability in the border areas as soon as possible, Ren said. 

It is noticeable that, different from the media reports, which referred to India as "foreign military," Senior Colonel Ren's response on Friday directly named India and the Indian military, a detail that reflects that the military has a clear stance on the incident, while the reports show China's restraint. 

Analysts said that the timely response of the Defense Ministry came after the detailed report, which showed China has principles and reason and has shown restraint in dealing with the whole incident. Indian media quickly hyped the casualties soon after the incident, and if China released the casualties at that time, it would not allow a healthy environment in which to solve the situation by talks.

They also noted that after the tense situation along the border areas had eased, China revealed the truth in order to avoid further confrontations on the frontlines, as well as between the two peoples. China has shown the rationality and conscientiousness of a great power, demonstrating its image as "a lion with wisdom and kindness." It also showed the unquestionable capability of the Chinese military in safeguarding its sovereignty and territory. 

Honorary titles are awarded to officers and soldiers who make excellent and special contributions in combats, training or other work. The officers and soldiers in Friday's report are all "iron soldiers" and representatives of those who are loyal and patriotic, Ren said. 

The country and the people will never forget the heroes who made sacrifices, and the families of the martyrs will be taken good care of, Ren noted. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying also told a press conference on Friday that the responsibility of the Galwan Valley incident lies on the Indian side, but India had hyped the casualties to distort the truth and mislead the international community.

Hua said the PLA Daily's Friday report on the truth will help people know what is right and wrong and is also a way to pay respect to the heroes that safeguard the borders. 

"Honestly speaking, I read the reports many times and have been deeply touched. The stories of these heroes have greatly shocked our heart… one of the martyrs, Chen Hongjun, was about to be a father when he died; Xiao Siyuan had dreamed of marrying his girlfriend... They gave their lives to protect the sovereignty [of China]," Hua said, noting that the country will never forget them, nor will the people.

"I also want to note that China's stance on solving the border issue is consistent. China always wants to settle disputes through talks to safeguard the stability of the border areas… we also want India to put the border issues in a proper position and work with China to maintain peace in the region and to promote healthy development of bilateral ties, which fits the interests of the people on both sides," Hua said.