The Chinese Army had not expected a quick Indian reaction and suffered heavy casualties in Galwan Valley

In the Galwan Valley standoff, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had not expected a quick and fierce Indian reaction, and as a result suffered heavy casualties.

Writing in The Tribune, Lt Gen. Pradeep Bali (retd) Ex-Commander, Sikkim-based 33 Corps, pointed out that the PLA’s recent reorganization of its infantry and mountain divisions into mechanised brigades may be suited for the plains or expeditionary forces. “But the high altitude borders with India along the LAC require deployment of adequate, well-trained and hardy foot infantry for prosecuting operations - offensive or defensive.”

The retired army officer said that the PLA troops were certain of taking the Indian soldiers by surprise with heavy numerical odds in their favour. They had not expected a quick and fierce Indian reaction and suffered heavy casualties, he said. The Ex-Commander goes on to say that in 2012, training in recruit training schools of the PLA was delayed because recruit targets were under-subscribed. They were rejected during selection on medical grounds for being overweight and having poor eyesight, the article said.

The PLA is a largely conscript force, most of its members serving for two years and coming from families subject to the one-child norm, but also who benefitted from the post-1979 prosperity. The PLA rank and file is from small families living in relative prosperity, in an authoritarian state, definitely not the best human resource for an army with unsettled borders.

Read the full report in The Tribune