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Thursday, November 26, 2020

PLA soldier strays across LAC, Army says will return him

The Army said, "a request has also been received from the PLA” on “the whereabouts of the missing soldier”, and "as per established protocols, he will be returned back to Chinese officials at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point after completion of formalities".

Written by Krishn Kaushik | New Delhi | Updated: October 20, 2020 4:32:02 am
PLA soldier strays across LAC, Army says will return himAt a checkpoint along a highway leading to Ladakh. Reuters file

A Chinese soldier was apprehended Monday in the Demchok sector of eastern Ladakh amid tensions over the border standoff. The Indian Army said the soldier had strayed across the Line of Actual Control and would soon be handed over to the PLA.

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.”

The Army said, “a request has also been received from the PLA” on “the whereabouts of the missing soldier”, and “as per established protocols, he will be returned back to Chinese officials at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point after completion of formalities”.

The Chinese soldier, the 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”.

A statement from the National Defence Ministry of China quoted PLA spokesperson Colonel Zhang Shuili saying the soldier lost his way while looking for a yak that had gone missing.

It said herders had asked the soldier to trace the yak. Chinese border guards, Zhang said, informed the Indian side about the missing soldier “and hoped that the Indian side would assist in search and rescue”.

India, the PLA said, “notified the Chinese side that a missing person from the Chinese side had been found and would be handed over to the Chinese side after medical examination”.

The incident comes at a time when India and China have stationed around 50,000 soldiers each along the Ladakh frontier as part of the military standoff that began early May.

Seven rounds of Corps Commander-level talks and multiple rounds of diplomatic talks have been held as part of efforts to resolve the situation. With the mercury plunging in the region, troops on either side are bracing for extended deployment through the harsh winter months.

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