By Wang Qi
Qi Fabao, the regimental commander from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Xinjiang military command, who suffered serious head injury while fighting bravely in the Galwan Valley border skirmish on June 15, 2020, made an appearance and spoke at a recent high-level military meeting in honor of heroic border troops on Friday. As the first anniversary of the skirmish approaches, experts say China has once again shown its determination to safeguard territorial integrity.
According to the video clip from the military channel of China Central Television (CCTV) on Thursday, Qi, in military uniform with a Party emblem on, attended a meeting organized by the Political Work Department of the Central Military Commission. The scar in his head can be clearly seen.
Along with four other frontline soldiers, Qi shared the stories of four martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the Galwan Valley clash.
“If the troop is compared to a sharp sword, then the courage and uprightness of soldiers is the blade of the sword. We are not afraid of sacrifice, and we have always held on to the belief that we would rather sacrifice our lives than lose an inch of our territory,” Qi said in his speech.
Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Friday that Qi’s speech in the briefing showed China’s consistent and firm attitude of safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity.
India should not have any illusion that China will make any concession on the issue of territorial integrity, said Qian, noting that the two countries should respect each other and meet halfway to restore peace and tranquility on the border and create conditions for the restart of China-India relations.
The skirmish in June 2020 was caused by India’s provocation, and Chinese frontline soldiers have demonstrated their spirit of never giving up an inch of territory in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Friday.
The briefing that highlighted heroes can also been seen as a patriotic and national defense education for the Chinese public before the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China on July 1 and China’s Army Day on August 1, the expert said.
The event can make the whole society understand the importance of the military, which needs greater respect, as they are protecting China’s core interests with their blood and lives, Song said.
In February, the Central Military Commission issued commendations to the servicemen for their role in bravely fighting back provocations by foreign forces at the Galwan Valley. The title of “border-defending hero” was conferred on Battalion Commander Chen Hongjun posthumously, while Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran received first-class merits. They all died in a Galwan Valley clash last June, Xinhua reported.
In May, the CPC Central Committee announced that they will, for the first time, issue July 1 Medals to Party members who have made outstanding contributions and created valuable spiritual wealth. The 29 candidates recommended for the award included Chen Hongjun, a Galwan Valley hero who died in the clash last year.