Subir Bhaumik / James Alavi , Washington
Easternlink is the only media outlet that has consistently claimed between 80 to 100 Chinese casualties in the June 15 Ladakh clashes .
The Indian government and the military topbrass , in pursuit of a highly defensive 3D strategy – defuse, de-escalate, disengage- to scale down tensions, has not come clean on the issue, only admitting Indian losses.
Easternlink had put Indian losses at 23 killed and 11 missing , 110 injured of whom 24 were serious.
The absurd extent to which the Army has gone to ‘sanitize’ reporting, obviously on instructions from political masters communicated through the one-point system, about the valor of its own soldiers , when some officers served a legal notice on The Quint for running a story on tge May5 clash , in which young Indian lieutenant is puported to have punched a Chinese Major.
Now Easternlink’s casualty figures, secured from field formation sources , has berm vindicated by a top Chinese source.
Jianli Yang, a former Chinese military official and son of a leader in the Chinese communist party, has claimed in Washington that ‘more than 100 Chinese soldiers were killed’ in the 15th June clash .
Jianli has pulled up the Chinese government for hiding this information from the Chinese people.
“President Xi Jinping is worried that if the information regarding the soldiers, killed in the Galwan valley, is disclosed the serving, as well as the retired soldiers, can revolt. Not only this but even there can be a rebellion, even from within the communist party,” Jianli told mediapersons in a rare encounter.
He claimed he had this from ‘Chinese and not Ametican sources.’
Disgruntled retired and serving Chinese Army cadres, who are hurt by the treatment meted out by the government, can launch an “armed” anti-regime action against Xi Jinping’s government, he said.
In an opinion piece in The Washington Post, Jianli Yang, the founder and president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China, wrote that Beijing fears that the admitting that it had lost troops, that too more in number than its opponent, could lead to major domestic unrest that can even put the regime of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in trouble.
“The PLA has long been a key pillar of the CCP’s power. If the sentiments of the serving PLA cadres are hurt and they get together with the millions of disgruntled veterans (which may be facilitated by those within the PLA who are already unhappy with Xi — and there are thousands of them, such as those who were hurt by Xi’s move to separate PLA from commercial activities), they could form a formidable force capable of challenging Xi’s leadership,” he writes.
“Significantly, the CCP leadership cannot afford to undermine the veterans’ potential to launch a collective and armed anti-regime action. Hence, the continuing incidence of veterans’ protests, despite significant coercive pressure and bureaucratic measures, is a source of intense anxiety for Xi Jinping and the CCP leadership,” he adds.
While most Indian media, dependent on the ‘sanitised version’ of military PR system, focussed on the early evening clashes that led to 23 Indian deaths and 18/20 Chinese deaths ( after the Punjab, Mahars and Arty soldiers rushed to back the surprised 16th Bihar) , Easternlink reported massive retaliatory attacks 2 Chinese encampments by the ‘Ghataks’ that led to atleast 29 Chinese deaths.
It also reported of a landslide, possibly caused by an explosion , that buried a Chinese camp, where Indian patrols had last sighted 25 PLA troops around 1730 hours on 15th June.
The Chinese claimed the Indians were responsible for the explosions, but Indians denied the charge and ascribed it to “Hand of God” because that night there was much lightning and thunder .
Some Chinese also fell off the cliff when chased by the fierce Sikhs of the 3rd Punjab ‘ Ghatak” or killer platoons.
Sepoys Gurtej Singh and ‘Amritdhari’ Surinder Singh killed 12 and 10 Chinese each, striking terror in the hearts of the Chinese who now avoid contact with the tall and burly Sikhs .
Having provoked the Chinese by ‘take back Aksai Chin’ remarks , the Modi government then chickened out after the intrusions and despite brave talk meant for public consumption pushed local commanders to pursue military diplomacy rather than aggressive area domination.
” This is ridiculous. You loose wars when your war aims are confused.i hope Delhi does 3D at political and diplomatic levels and allow the army to do its job,” said Maj-Gen Gaganjit Singh, former Mountain Division commander and deputy chief of DIA.The killing of Col Babu changed the scene as revenge hungry Indian troops went on the rampage , somewhat haphazardly in the initial stages and then through concerted planning by 14Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh.