New Delhi, Oct 19 (efe-epa).- The Indian Army on Monday captured a Chinese soldier who had crossed across the Line of Actual Control or LAC – which serves as the de facto border between India and China – in the northern Ladakh region, according to the Indian authorities on Monday.
The incident comes at a moment when the two countries continue in their diplomatic attempts to resolve the ongoing border tension between them.
“A PLA (People’s Liberation Army) 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 Indian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
“The PLA soldier 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 ministry said.
According to the statement, the Chinese Army contacted Indian forces to ask about the whereabouts of the missing soldier in the eastern part of India’s Ladakh region in the Himalayas.
It added that that “as per established protocols”, the Chinese soldier would be returned back “after completion of formalities” at their designated meeting point.
Situation along the border area in Ladakh has remained tense since Jun. 15, when at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed and dozens more were wounded during a clash in the Galwan valley of Ladakh, marking the worst military confrontation between the two sides in 45 years.
The Chinese side did not report any casualties although the Indian government has claimed that it caused equal or worse damage to the opposite side.
Since then, Chinese and Indian armies have accused each other of occupying contested territories and firing warning shots on the disputed LAC, a loose demarcation that separates the two countries.
Both sides have reinforced their positions at the border, increasing risk of fresh clashes, while talks have continued to try and de-escalate the situation.
In the meantime, both countries have repeatedly accused one another of fresh military actions and violations on the ground while talks continued.
India and China have so far held seven senior-level military talks. The most recent one, held on Oct. 12, was described by the Foreign Ministry spokesperson in New Delhi, Anurag Srivastava, as “positive and constructive”.
“Disengagement is a complex process that requires redeployment of troops by each side towards their regular posts on their respective sides of the LAC,” said Srivastava. EFE-EPA