Monday, September 26, 2022

China makes PLA officer involved in Galwan clash a Winter Oly torchbearer

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An officer of the People’s Liberation Army, Qi Fabao, became a torchbearer for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Torch Relay on Wednesday(local time), as reported by the Chinese state-sponsored media outlet, Global Times. According to the report, Fabao, a regiment commander in the PLA, was one among the PLA personnel involved in the Galwan valley clash with India. The report also claims that the PLA officer, who fought “bravely,” suffered a “serious head injury” during the border skirmish in June 2020.

The move appears to be the latest effort by Beijing to strengthen its narrative of the events that occurred amidst the border tension in the Galwan valley between Indian and Chinese forces in 2020. Earlier, China had released a choreographed propaganda video in January which claimed to show PLA soldiers unfurling the Chinese flag in Galwan. Later, Chinese social media users revealed that the soldiers in the video were Chinese actors and also publicised their real identities. Last year, the Chinese state media had released an edited video released in an attempt to pin the blame of the Galwan clash on Indian forces.

Several countries have already announced a diplomatic boycott of the Winer Olympic Games set to take place in Beijing. US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Lithuania have decided against sending a diplomatic delegation for the games over human rights violations in China. Human rights groups have called for a complete boycott of the games.

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