Beijing (Reuters) – China said for the first time on Friday that four Chinese soldiers died during a bloody Himalayan border clash with Indian troops in June 2020, adding that the men were given posthumous awards.
Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran died during what the Chinese state media described as a fierce fight against foreign troops violating an agreement and crossing over to the Chinese side.
China and India have blamed each other for the clash in the western Himalayas, during which soldiers fought each other with sticks and nail-filled stones. India has previously said 20 of its soldiers died in the clashes, while Beijing had admitted casualties but had not revealed details.
Chen was posthumously awarded the title of Guardian of the Border Hero, while three other men were also awarded first-class citations of merit.
The two countries have tried to de-escalate the situation on the border, although there was another small confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops in January along the disputed borders.
China and India began withdrawing traction troops, tanks and other equipment from the shores of Pangong Tso, a glacial lake in the Ladakh region, which became a hot spot in the protracted border dispute after reaching an agreement to do so this month.
Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; written by Se Young Lee. Edited by Gerry Doyle
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