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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

"Shameful": US after China makes Galwan soldier olympics torchbearer

'The move is a clear indication that the Beijing Games has been politicised'

Our Bureau, Agencies New Delhi Published 03.02.22, 11:49 AM
The Chinese army's regimental commander, became the torchbearer at the Beijing Games.

The Chinese army's regimental commander, became the torchbearer at the Beijing Games. File picture

A top lawmaker from the powerful US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has condemned China's decision to make an army officer, who was injured in a clash with Indian soldiers, the torchbearer for the Beijing Winter Olympics, reports NDTV.

The Chinese army's regimental commander, who was severely injured in the violent faceoff with Indian troops in Galwan valley in June 2020, became the torchbearer at the Beijing Games, local media reported. The move is a clear indication that the Beijing Games has been politicised, China watchers have said.

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"It's shameful that Beijing chose a torchbearer for the Olympics 2022 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," tweeted Jim Risch, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member.

Qi Fabao, the regimental commander of the People's Liberation Army Xinjiang military command, who suffered a serious head injury during the Galwan valley clash, took the flame from Wang Meng, China's four-time Olympic short track speed skating champion, Global Times reported.

China is believed to be hiding its losses in the Galwan valley clash. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in action.

New research has shown that the People's Liberation Army, or PLA, lost nine times more soldiers than its official count of four, news agency ANI reported.

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."

It 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, ANI reported.

The Winter Olympics, in the meanwhile, opens on Friday but have been dogged by politics and coronavirus disease (Covid-19) fears. The US and several other Western nations are staging a diplomatic boycott of the winter games over human rights concerns relating to China's treatment of Uyghurs in the region of Xinjiang.

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