The viral video is from the 2020 Galwan Valley clash between Indian and Chinese troops. It is unrelated to the December 2022 Tawang incident.
On December 12, the Indian Army said in a statement that Indian and Chinese troops had clashed close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang sector three days previously, on December 9. According to the statement, troops from both sides had sustained minor injuries but had immediately disengaged from the area.
Even as news reports on this incident emerged in the Indian media, social media began to be flooded with various old images and videos claiming to show the December skirmish. On December 12, a video was shared on Twitter where a Chinese soldier can be seen bleeding from a severe head injury. He is surrounded by other personnel, one of who ties a cloth around the wound, presumably to staunch the bleeding. Writing that the Chinese troops should suffer for not heeding his warning not to provoke Indian troops, the Twitter user added the hashtags Tawang and Arunachal Pradesh, implying that the video was of the December 9 clash.
Another Twitter user shared the video the same day, claiming that over 100 Chinese soldiers had been injured, whereas less than 30 Indian personnel had been hurt. The Twitter user lauded the Indian Army for their response and added the same hashtags, connecting it to the Tawang sector clash. However, the video being shared is an old one unrelated to the recent clash.
A reverse image search of a screenshot from the video led us to the same clip in a news video uploaded on YouTube by Chinese state-run news channel 'CGTN' on February 20, 2021. The video caption states that it shows the clash between Chinese and Indian troops in June 2020 in the Galwan Valley and carries the clip of the injured soldier at the time stamp of 1 minute 53 seconds. The subtitles provided identify the wounded soldier as People's Liberation Army (PLA) Regiment Commander Qi Fabao. The video, which provides the Chinese perspective on the disputes between India and China over the LAC in Ladakh and the Galwan Valley face-off, also provided the names of other Chinese military personnel injured or killed in the clash.
Clips from the video were also uploaded as part of a broadcast on YouTube by the South Korean news channel YTN on February 22, 2021. Using Google Translate, we found that the description of the video states that deals with skirmish between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Galwan Valley in June 2020, and the attempts at disengagement since then.
We also found the image of the injured soldier, as seen in the video, in an article published by the news agency Associated Press (AP) on February 26, 2021. The image's caption in the news report also identified the Chinese soldier as Qi Fabao, who was injured in the June 15, 2020 clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley. The report also stated that on February 19, 2021 China had released a list of casualties of the deadly clash, conceding four deaths. The report also mentioned that India had announced that it lost 20 soldiers in the face-off, involving fists, clubs, stones, and other improvised weapons.
Thus, it is evident that the video has existed on the internet since 2021 and shows an incident during the 2020 Galwan Valley clash. It has no connection to the recent clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Tawang in December.
The Galwan Valley clash led to a protracted standoff between the governments and armed forces of India and China. Several rounds of talks have since been held to disengage both sets of troops from the affected areas in Ladakh. Meanwhile, Fabao later recovered from his head injury and was appointed one of the Olympic torchbearers by Beijing for the Winter Olympics held in February 2022, AP reported. The Indian government severely criticized this decision and said that Beijing was politicizing the games.
On December 13, 2022, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh delivered a statement in Parliament stating that Chinese troops carried out an incursion across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and attempted to unilaterally change the status quo in the Yangtse area of Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh. He said that Indian troops halted the transgression and forced the Chinese troops to return to their posts. He also clarified that some soldiers on both sides sustained injuries but added that there were no fatalities or severe injuries in the case of the Indian soldiers. He added that on December 11, the local commander of the Army held a flag meeting with his Chinese counterpart and asked the Chinese side to maintain peace on the border. Singh said that the issue has also been taken up with the Chinese through diplomatic channels.
On December 13, Reuters reported that Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated that the situation at the India-China border was "generally stable", while claiming responsibility for the clash rested with Indian forces.
An old video of an injured Chinese soldier from the clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh in June 2020 is being shared incorrectly to claim that it is footage of the recent clash in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. The clip can be found in a video published by a Chinese news channel in February 2021. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.