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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

India returns Chinese soldier who had strayed across

The soldier, identified as Corporal Wang Ya Long, had strayed across the LAC into Indian territory in Demchok area in eastern Ladakh, and was apprehended by the Army on Monday.

Written by Krishn Kaushik | New Delhi | Updated: October 21, 2020 2:45:43 pm
india china border tension, india china border dispute, russia on india china tensions, Roman Babushkin, india china news, Indian express Army convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway at Gagangeer. (AP, File)

The Chinese soldier who had crossed the Line of Actual Control on October 19 morning was handed back to the People’s Liberation Army late on Tuesday night in the Chushul-Moldo general area, sources in the Army told The Indian Express.

The soldier, identified as Corporal Wang Ya Long, had strayed across the LAC into Indian territory in Demchok area in eastern Ladakh, and was apprehended by the Army on Monday.

The incident took place as both sides are involved in a tense military standoff in the eastern Ladakh region since early May. Both sides have deployed nearly 50,000 troops each, and have positioned additional artillery, tanks and air defence assets.

In a statement about the incident, the Army Monday said the Chinese soldier was “provided medical assistance including oxygen, food and warm clothes to protect him from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions”.

The Army said a request had been received from the PLA on the whereabouts of the missing soldier. It said he would be returned “as per established protocols” after the formalities were completed.

The Chinese National Defense Ministry had said in a statement Monday that, PLA’s spokesperson of the Western Theater Command, Colonel Zhang Shuili pointed out “on the evening of October 18, one of my soldiers who requested help from the herders to find the yak was lost”. It mentioned that Chinese border guards reported to the Indian side “as soon as possible and hoped that the Indian side would assist in search and rescue”. India, it said, “notified the Chinese side that a missing person from the Chinese side was found and will be handed over to the Chinese side after medical examination”.

It mentioned that “we hope that the Indian side will honor its commitments, speed up the transfer of lost personnel to China”.

The two countries have been involved in military and diplomatic dialogue to resolve the standoff. However, seven rounds of discussions at the level of Corps Commanders has not yielded a positive result yet. The eighth round of meeting of the senior military commanders is likely to take place this week, but a date is yet to be decided.

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