(TibetanReview.net, Aug25’22) – A Chinese military commander injured in the Galwan Valley clash with Indian troops in eastern Ladakh in 2020 has been “elected” a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) delegate to the upcoming twice-a-decade Communist of China (CPC) national congress to be held later this year, reported the hindustantimes.com Aug 24. Three Tibetan and two Uyghur Muslim PLA personnel are also included, the report said.
However, interestingly, Yang Cheng and Yin Hongxing, the political commissars of the Xinjiang military district and the Tibet military district – both bordering India – are not in the list of delegates, the report noted.
Colonel Qi Fabao, who was the PLA’s Xinjiang military region commander during the clash on Jun 15, 2020, was named among 304 delegates from the PLA and the paramilitary People’s Armed Police Force for the upcoming congress, which is expected to be held either at the end of October or early November.
Altogether 2,300 delegates from over 95 million CPC members will attend the congress, which will see a reshuffle of China’s top leadership, with President Xi Jinping expected to secure a precedent-breaking third term.
In Qi’s case, the rare honour is likely the CPC leadership’s way of portraying him as a “hero” to the people even as India and China remain locked in the dragging border tension in eastern Ladakh since 2020, the report noted.
New Delhi blames China for trying to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh through its actions around the Jun 15 night incident.
Qi suffered head injuries during the clash with Indian soldiers, and later received the title of “hero regiment commander for defending the border” from his government.
His name was revealed along with the names of four Chinese soldiers who died in the Galwan Valley clash only in Feb 2021, several months after the clash in which 20 Indian soldiers died. The actual number of the Chinese dead is suspected to be much more.
In Feb 2022, India stayed away from the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Beijing after Qi was revealed as a torchbearer.
Also chosen as a delegate is stated to be Lin Xiangyang, commander of the PLA’s eastern theatre, which led China’s show of military might against Taiwan this month.