The Indian Army on Monday apprehended a Chinese soldier in eastern Ladakh. The Army said that the soldier had “strayed across the Line of Actual Control (LAC)” and will be handed over to the People Liberation Army (PLA) soon.
In a statement, the Army said, “a PLA soldier identified as Corporal Wang Ya Long was apprehended in the Demchok sector of Eastern Ladakh on 19 October 2020 after he had strayed across the LAC.”
“A request has also been received from the PLA about the whereabouts of the missing soldier,” the Army said, adding that, “as per established protocols, he will be returned back to Chinese officials at the Chushul – Moldo meeting point after completion of formalities”.
The soldier, the Indian Army said, “has been provided medical assistance including oxygen, food and warm clothes to protect him from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions”.
The incident comes as around 50,000 soldiers from each side are stationed in eastern Ladakh as part of the military standoff that began in early May.
There have been seven rounds of Corps Commander-level talks and multiple rounds of diplomatic talks as well to find a resolution, but the discussions have not been successful.
The latest round of discussions took place a week ago on October 12. Both sides had said in a joint statement on Tuesday that they had “a sincere, in-depth and constructive exchange of views on disengagement along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of India-China border areas” and were of the view that “these discussions were positive, constructive and had enhanced understanding of each other’s positions”.
“Both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible. Both sides agreed to earnestly implement the important understandings reached by the leaders of the two countries, not to turn differences into disputes, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas,” the joint statement had mentioned.
With no consensus on a road map of disengagement and eventual de-escalation, both sides are prepared for winter deployment of additional troops in the region during the harsh winters.
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