India hands over Chinese soldier who crossed LAC

File picture shows personnel from the Indian Army and China’s PLA officers during a ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) in Chushul, Ladakh.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Chinese soldier  who strayed across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Demchok sector on October 18 has been returned, both India and China confirmed while both sides are preparing to hold another round of senior military commander talks likely later this week.

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The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier was handed over to Chinese side at Chushul-Moldo meeting point late on Tuesday, a defence source said.

The soldier had been handed over to PLA frontier troops in the early hours on Wednesday (as per Beijing time), the website of the PLA said, citing military media.

An official source said both sides are working out dates for the eighth round of Corps Commander talks possibly this week. The last round of talks was held on October 12 at Chushul and a joint statement issued later said both sides held “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.” However, there has been no movement on disengagement and de-escalation so far.

China’s military had said late on Monday that it was in touch with India over the case of the Chinese soldier who had strayed across the LAC in Demchok sector, and had been apprehended.

Also read: Keep off India’s affairs, Reddy tells China, Pak.

The Indian Army said the soldier, identified as Corporal Wang Ya Long, had been provided medical assistance including oxygen, food and warm clothes as protection from the harsh climatic conditions. It also confirmed it had received a request from the PLA on his whereabouts.

The Army said as per established protocols, he would be returned back to Chinese officials at the Chushul–Moldo meeting point after completion of formalities.

“China hopes that India will hand over soon the Chinese soldier who got lost in China-India border areas on the evening of October 18 when helping local herdsmen retrieve a yak at their request,” Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili, spokesperson for the Western Theater Command of the PLA, said in a statement on Monday.

The PLA, in its statement, said “the PLA border troops informed the Indian military right after the incident and hoped the Indian side would aid in search and rescue, and the Indian side promised to offer help and return the missing soldier timely after finding him.”

“India's move is a goodwill gesture ahead of the eighth round talks,” Sun Shihai, an expert at the South Asia Research Center of Sichuan University, told the Global Times newspaper, referring to the next round of Corps Commander talks set to be held soon to take forward the disengagement process.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 11:46:24 PM |

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