Soldiers Killed in Galwan Valley Clash With India Now Part of Patriotism Lessons for Kids in China

© REUTERS / PLANET LABS INCA satellite image taken over Galwan Valley in Ladakh, India, parts of which are contested with China
A satellite image taken over Galwan Valley in Ladakh, India, parts of which are contested with China - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.09.2021
Relations between India and China have dipped since the border stand-off in May last year when soldiers from both countries clashed in eastern Ladakh. A series of diplomatic and military-level meetings have been held to discuss troop disengagement from the sensitive areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The Chinese soldiers who were killed during clashes with Indian servicemen in the Ladakh region's Galwan Valley last year are now being mentioned in textbooks used by the People's Liberation Army to inspire patriotism among primary school children in China.
The first instance of the soldiers' mention for educational purposes was reported in China's Anhui Province over the weekend, when students from a local school met officials from a border battalion based in the Xinjiang military region. An official portal of the Chinese military published a write up about the interaction on Tuesday, reported Indian daily The Hindustan Times.
The aim of educating the students about the "heroic deeds" of China's military personnel on the border is to encourage them to "draw spiritual strength and patriotism from the soldiers and plant the seeds of patriotism from the soldiers in the hearts of the students," the publication quoted the school principal as saying.
The article also highlighted what impression the tales of patriotism in the Galwan Valley left on the students. "Chen Xiarong was born after 2000. When he sacrificed his life, he was only seven years older than me. It really touched me...," a student was quoted in the article as saying.
"Woven into the officially sanctioned exchange between the soldiers and students was the China narrative that the PLA soldiers were defending their borders and that India had allegedly trespassed the LAC," the publication added.
Meanwhile, New Delhi has repeatedly refuted charges by Beijing that Indian soldiers have trespassed into Chinese territory since the standoff began in May last year. India blames the Chinese Army for breaching the LAC.
The border standoff between India and China erupted on 5 May, 2020 after a violent clash in the Pangong Lake areas between soldiers from the two nations. Both sides beefed up their presence on each side as a result.
While China took almost a year to reveal that five Chinese officers were killed during the Galwan Valley clash, India admitted that 20 soldiers died in the clash much earlier.
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