The Chinese government is pressuring the families of soldiers who died in Galwan face off with India to not conduct burials and in-person funeral ceremonies, said a US intelligence assessment.
The bloody brawl between Chinese and Indian troops took place on June 15 in which both sides suffered casualties. On one side, India accepted that 20 of its soldiers have been martyred in the clash but China, on the other hand, has still not disclosed how many of its soldiers were killed in the incident.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on June 28, conveyed condolences to the kin of Army personnel who lost their lives in the Galwan valley clash and said that the sacrifice of these families is “worth worshipping”.
While the grieving Chinese families who have lost their loved ones in the clash are being mistreated by the Chinese government. First, the Chinese government refused to accept the casualties on its side and now it has denied burial of the fallen soldiers.
According to the US intelligence assessment, China is not accepting that its soldiers have been killed in the showdown in order to cover up an episode that Beijing appears to consider a blunder.
The violent face-off occurred after China attempted to unilaterally change the status quo during de-escalation in eastern Ladakh. India has said that the situation could have been avoided if the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side.
The Chinese government has acknowledged the deaths of only a few officers so far. Indian intercepts have revealed that the Chinese side suffered 43 casualties including the dead and seriously injured.
However, American intelligence believes that 35 of the Chinese soldiers were killed in the showdown.
The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs has told families of those who died in the Galwan Valley clash that they must forgo traditional burial ceremonies and cremate the soldiers’ remains and that any funeral services should be conducted remotely, not in person, a source familiar with the assessment said.
Though the government has used the threat posed by the spread of the coronavirus as a pretext, the assessment concludes that the new rules are a part of a deliberate effort by Beijing to undermine public awareness and erase any enduring reminders of the violent clash.
Also, China fears that images of gravestones for its fallen soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), could further stoke those sentiments if spread on Chinese or international social media.
“The reality is they don’t want to create martyr soldiers,” says the source. “So they have banned functions where friends and families can pay their respects for the PLA deceased.”