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‘Shameful’ that China choose PLA soldier involved in Galwan clash as Olympics torchbearer, says US lawmaker

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A US lawmaker has slammed China for choosing the People’s Liberation Army‘s regimental commander, involved in the Galwan valley clash as a torchbearer for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Torch Relay.

China’s People’s Liberation Army’s regimental commander, who had suffered severe injuries during the Galwan clash, became the torchbearer at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Torch Relay on Wednesday.

“It’s shameful that Beijing chose a torchbearer for the Olympics2022 who’s part of the military command that attacked India in 2020 and is implementing genocide against the Uyghurs. The US will continue to support Uyghur freedoms and the sovereignty of India,” said Senator Jim Risch, a Republican who is a Ranking Member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Qi Fabao, the regimental commander who suffered a serious head injury during the Galwan Valley border skirmish on June 15, 2020, took the flame from China’s four-time Olympic short track speed skating champion, at Winter Olympic Park, State media outlet Global Times reported on Wednesday.

This came as a report revealed that China is hiding its losses in the Galwan Valley clash with India. The new research has shown that the PLA lost at least nine times more soldiers than its official count of four.

At least 38 PLA troops drowned while crossing a fast-flowing, sub-zero river in darkness, according to an article in the Australian newspaper ‘The Klaxon’ which cited a report prepared by a group of social media researchers after a year-long investigation.

Of the four soldiers China has confirmed died, only one– Junior Sergeant Wang Zhuoran– is reported as having drowned, the investigative newspaper said. The report cited “several Weibo users” and said, “at least 38 PLA troops along with Wang were washed away and drowned that night…of which only Wang was declared among the four officially dead soldiers.”

The report cited a year-long investigation involving discussions with mainland Chinese bloggers, information obtained from mainland-based Chinese citizens and media reports that have since been deleted by Chinese authorities.

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