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Explained: Controversy over Galwan soldier bearing Olympics torch

Galwan soldier Olympics torch; Ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing-2022 Winter Games caused controversy on Wednesday

By Ground report
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Explained Controversy over Galwan soldier bearing Olympics torch

Ground Report | New Delhi: Galwan soldier Olympics torch; Ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing-2022 Winter Games caused controversy on Wednesday because one of the relays is a Chinese soldier involved in a Galwan conflict in 2020 in the Eastern Ladakh.

According to a report in Global Times, Regimental Commander Qi of the Xinjiang People's Liberation Army (PLA) Military Command drew flames from four-time Chinese Olympic champion Wang Meng in short track speed skating.

Qi Fabao, commander of a Chinese People's Liberation Army regiment, participated in a violent clash in 2020 in the Galwan Valley, on the border between the two countries, which resulted in the death of at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers. , although the authorities in Beijing took eight months to recognize their losses.

Chinese state media Global Times described Qi as a "hero" as he was seriously injured in the head during the fighting. For this, he was chosen among the 1,200 participants in the Olympic torch relay. "China's aggressive information policy continues," Indian journalist Abhishek Bhalla tweeted on Wednesday. The two countries have deployed tens of thousands of troops to the hotly contested border area, and diplomatic negotiations in late 2021 did not result in any agreement.

Qi's participation in the torch relay is "anything but a sign of de-escalation," the Indian outlet The Wire estimated. More so when Qi appeared last December on CCTV public television to announce that he was "ready to return to the battlefield."

The controversial move faced strong criticism from US Senator Jim Risch, who has strongly condemned Beijing for choosing a torchbearer for the winter games who was part of the military commando that attacked India in 2020 and is also "implementing genocide against the Uyghurs”.

Calling China's actions "shameful," Senator Risch, ranking member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reaffirmed the US commitment to support Uyghur freedom and the sovereignty of India.

After reporting his inclusion among the 1,200 torchbearers for the Olympic Games, Chinese state media Global Times hailed Qi, who suffered a serious head injury during the fighting, as a "hero" for his role in the Himalayan battle.

Qi appeared on China's state broadcaster CCTV in December and said he was "ready to return to the battlefield and fight again". This all came as a report revealed that China is hiding its losses in the Galwan Valley clash with India in June 2020.

In June 2020, at least 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese soldiers were killed during clashes in Ladakh. The fighting erupted after Chinese forces carried out aggression along the disputed border called the Line of Actual Control. The tension still persists, although there has been a de-escalation in some key points after the military-level talks between India and China.

Beijing has kept the Galwan incident in the spotlight, amid President Xi Jinping's attempt to join the league of historical leaders like Mao Zedong by expanding China's physical and economic footprint around the world.

Recently, Chinese state media reportedly aired a documentary about soldiers deployed throughout the LAC in eastern Ladakh. In July 2021, Jinping reportedly awarded the Communist Party's July 1 medal to a soldier killed in the Galwan clash.

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