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China may have ‘planned’ the Galwan Valley faceoff, knowing there would be fatalities, says US security panel report

The report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission states that some evidence suggests that China had planned the Galwan Valley standoff between Indian Army soldiers and PLA troops, knowing fatalities would be there.

A top United States security panel has released a report [PDF] in which it has alleged that the Chinese government had planned the Galwan clash in June 2020. The report further added that the Chinese government was expecting fatalities on the Indian side. Titled “2020 REPORT TO CONGRESS of the U.S.-CHINA ECONOMIC AND SECURITY REVIEW COMMISSION,” the report mentioned that just before the June 15 India-China faceoff in the Galwan Valley, China signalled its intent to intensify the tension between the two countries along the Line of Actual Control.

Excerpt from the report submitted by top United States security panel

On the said night between June 15 and 16, the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army’s troops had a violent hand-to-hand clash. 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, including a commanding officer. As per the reports, the Chinese side also suffered casualties anywhere between 35 to 40.

The US’s report noted that there was some evidence pointing out that the Chinese government planned the Galwan incident “potentially including the possibility for fatalities”. It said, “For instance, several weeks prior to the clash Defense Minister Wei made his statement encouraging Beijing to “use fighting to promote stability.”Just over two weeks before the incident, in another potential indication of Chinese leaders signaling their intent to escalate tensions, an editorial in China’s state-owned tabloid Global Times warned that India would suffer a “devastating blow” to its trade and economic ties with China if it got “involved in the U.S.-China rivalry.”

The satellite images showed considerable Chinese build-up

The US report highlighted the analysis of satellite images that were taken before the clash. The images pointed out to the considerable Chinese build-up in the Galwan Valley just a week before the clash. The report suggested that there were around 1,000 PLA soldiers at the site. It further pointed out that under the current regime of President Xi Jinping, such border invasive actions have increased from the Chinese side.

Excerpt from 2020 REPORT TO CONGRESS of the U.S.-CHINA ECONOMIC AND SECURITY REVIEW COMMISSION

It said, “China and India have engaged in multiple physical clashes along their border for decades, but since General Secretary Xi assumed power in 2012 the two countries have seen five major altercations along their border. The exact motivations behind the Chinese government’s provocative behavior on the LAC this year remain unclear.” The report further added that the cause of the clash might be “construction of a strategic access road to support troops stationed along the LAC.” 

The Galwan Valley faceoff

On the intervening night of June 15 and 16, troops of the Indian Army had a violent hand-to-hand clash with the Chinese counterparts. In the clash, 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives. Since then, the tension between the two nations has intensified, resulting in the cancellation of several projects allotted to Chinese companies. The call for Atmanirbhar Bharat has also put a dent in the market share of Chinese products. As per the reports, China has lost as much as Rs.40,000 crore during the Diwali season as the consumers preferred non-Chinese products.

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