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Footage highlights Galwan Valley clash at China’s historic party congress

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(TibetanReview.net, Oct17’22) – China has again highlighted, at the highest national level, its combative position on the dispute it has raised over the border between Tibet under its occupation rule and India by screening a video clip it had made of a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) regiment commander rushing towards Indian troops at Galwan Valley in Ladakh ahead of the violent clash between the border troops of the two countries on Jun 15, 2020.

The regiment commander, Qi Fabao, was one of the 304 delegates from the “25 electoral units” of the PLA and the paramilitary People’s Armed Police chosen to attend the historic 20th national congress of the party in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing which began on Oct 16.

The meticulously chosen four-short-of-2,300 delegates to the congress heard a two-hour report from General Secretary Xi Jinping before they were to endorse, or, rather, rubberstamp, a historic third five-year term for him by the time the meeting ends on Oct 22.

The screening of the Galwan Valley clash footage on Oct 16 further elevated Qi’s stature as a delegate to the national congress, noted the hindustantimes.com Oct 16. It said the brief footage was part of a longer video showcasing the Communist Party of China (CPC)’s achievements in various fields.

The report said the particular footage, seemingly sourced from the PLA during the build-up to the clash, had been widely shared on social media soon after the Galwan Valley incident.

Indian and Chinese troops clash at Galwan Valley in Ladakh. (Photo courtesy: Xinhua)

On Sunday (Oct 16), it was played again on giant screens at the Great Auditorium – where big CPC meetings like the Congress takes place – as a precursor to Xi’s arrival and speech and as the delegates were walking in, the report noted.

The point behind screening the footage soon became obvious when Xi, in his lengthy speech, said China will “intensify military training under combat conditions, laying emphasis on joint training, force-on-force training and high-tech training”.

He has said China will become more “adept at deploying our military forces on a regular basis…This will enable us to shape our security posture, deter and manage crises and conflicts, and win local wars.”

The report noted that Qi had been a core part of China’s anti-India narrative since his name was revealed in Feb 2021 as the officer injured in the clash.

He was later honoured with the title of “Hero regimental commander for defending the border”.

In February this year, India announced a diplomatic boycott of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing after it chose Qi as one of the 1,200 torchbearers ahead of the Games’ opening.

Xi is expected to emerge from the congress more powerful than any of his predecessors since Chairman Mao Zedong. He is not expected to make any appointment which would be seen as his likely successor, thereby making clear his intention to rule China for yet another five years, or possibly, for life.

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