Letter to BS: The debate over number of Chinese casualties in Galwan clash

Maxar WorldView-3 satellite image shows ‘structures’ along LAC and Patrol Point 14 in the eastern Ladakh sector of Galwan Valley photo: reuters
This refers to “Let the military prove its worth” and “Need to constantly verify facts...”, both authored by Ajai Shukla, who has been frequently writing about India-China confrontation on the LAC. Shukla occasionally contributes in The New York Times also. In “Caught between Indian and Chinese troops” (NYT, July 12), Jeffrey Gettleman mentioned, “Western intelligence agents say that China lost more than a dozen soldiers in the fight”. So far, I have not read in any article by Ajai Shukla mentioning the number of Chinese casualties in Galwan during June 15/16, though he often refers to his reliable sources while he pointedly writes about the Chinese gains. As a defence journalist and the retired colonel, Shukla is expected to comment on the Chinese casualties, especially when NYT has published the details.

Rakesh Srivastava  Lakhimpur Kheri

The author responds: The first of the two articles you cite does not mention the number of Indian casualties, so there is no cause to mention Chinese casualties either. I have not authored the second article you ascribe to me.

On your larger question, I have more than once, including in the NYT article you cite, mentioned that there were an unspecified number of Chinese casualties. I would like to be more specific, but the fact is that New Delhi has announced casualty numbers and Beijing is keeping them secret. I do not have two reliable sources on the Chinese side and, without that, I cannot cite precise numbers.

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