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4 Chinese soldiers died in bloody India border clash last year, China reveals

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 54.5%. 2 min read.

LEH, INDIA - OCTOBER 5: Mountains rise over the Pangong Lake on October 5, 2012 near Leh in Ladakh, India. Ladakh, nestled between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, was once an ancient Buddhist Kingdom and for over half a century now, a strategic military outpost for India. Ladakh, sharing borders with both China and Pakistan, has seen an increase in tourism over the last few years, an alternative to Nepali Himalayan treks. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

China has revealed that four of its People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers were killed during a bloody hand-to-hand battle with Indian troops on the two countries' disputed border high in the Himalayas in June 2020.

(CNN)China has revealed that four of its People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers were killed during a bloody hand-to-hand battle with Indian troops on the two countries' disputed border high in the Himalayas in June 2020.

On Friday, China's official army newspaper, PLA Daily, said a battalion commander, Chen Hongjun, and three soldiers -- Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran -- had died in the "fierce struggle" defending the border, and were given posthumous awards.

According to the PLA Daily report, "foreign military" troops violated an agreement with China and crossed the border into the Chinese side to set up tents.

The report also claimed that when Qi led a few PLA soldiers to negotiate, the Indian side deployed more soldiers in an attempt to force the Chinese troops to concede.

A source in the Indian military previously told CNN that the dispute started over a Chinese tent that was constructed the night before the clash.

The next day, Chinese soldiers armed with stones and bamboo sticks with nails returned, the source said, and attacked unprepared Indian troops.

The June 2020 clash erupted near Pangong Tso, a strategically important lake located some 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) above sea level, which spans an area stretching from the Indian territory of Ladakh to Chinese-controlled Tibet, in the greater Kashmir region where India, China and Pakistan all claim territory.

In 1962, India and China went to war over this remote, inhospitable stretch of land, eventually establishing the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border straddled by Pangong Tso. However, the two countries do not agree on the LAC's precise location and both regularly accuse the other of overstepping it, or seeking to expand their territory.

But another "minor" face-off erupted between the two sides in January, according to the Indian Army, though it said that "was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols. "

According to satellite images, China has withdrawn troops, dismantled infrastructure and vacated camps along the disputed border.

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