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China asks families of soldiers killed in Galwan valley clash not to bury bodies

According to this report in US News & World Report that is based on a US intelligence assessment, the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs has told the families of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers who died in the Galwan Valley that they must forgo traditional burial ceremonies and cremate the soldiers’ remains. Any funeral service should be conducted remotely, not in person, the families have been told.

Though the Chinese government is using the pandemic as a pretext to impose such restrictions, the US intelligence assessment concludes that the instructions are part of Beijing’s efforts to put the lid on the clashes and downplay Chinese casualties.

China has, in general, encouraged cremations and imposed a ban of holding funeral services during the pandemic for public health reasons. These restrictions have come in handy now to conceal the deaths of its soldiers.

The US Intelligence assessment says that China is concerned that if news of the deaths of its soldiers spreads, it could stoke nationalist sentiments and stoke public anger, thus damaging relations with India which Beijing apparently wants to mend now.

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