New Delhi: 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.
"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 U.S. will cont. to support Uyghur freedoms & the sovereignty of India.", tweeted Jim Risch, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member.
China's People's Liberation Army's regimental commander, who had suffered severe injuries during the Galwan clash, became the torchbearer at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Torch Relay on Wednesday, reported local media.
Qi Fabao, the regimental commander from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Xinjiang military command, who suffered a serious head injury during the Galwan Valley border skirmish on June 15, 2020, took the flame from Wang Meng, China's four-time Olympic short track speed skating champion, at Winter Olympic Park on Wednesday, reported Global Times.
This came as a report revealed that China is hiding its losses in the Galwan Valley clash with India in June 2020. The new research has shown that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) lost at least nine times more soldiers than its official count of four.
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."
The report 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.
(With inputs from ANI)