China seeks immediate return of soldier caught on Indian side of LAC

The soldier went astray "due to darkness and complicated geography", said a portal run by PLA Daily

China
The military news website said the soldier was captured two hours after he went missing | File Photo: Twitter/ANI

China has sought an immediate return of its soldier who had strayed into Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh and was caught by Indian troops on Friday.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier went astray “due to darkness and complicated geography” early Friday morning, said the China Military Online, a portal run by the PLA Daily, on Saturday. It said the Indian side was notified about it with hopes they’d assist in search and rescue of the soldier.

The military news website said the soldier was captured two hours after he went missing, and that India has assured they will return the soldier following necessary instruction from higher-ups. Calling for prompt handing over of the soldier to China, it said India should “jointly maintain peace and tranquility in the border area.”

Related news | Chinese soldier caught on Indian side of LAC: Report

The soldier was captured by Indian troops near Gurung hill in Chushul sector. The Indian Army said the soldier had transgressed across LAC and was taken into custody by Indian troops, and is “being dealt with as per laid down procedures”. The circumstances under which the Chinese soldier had crossed the LAC are being investigated, it had further said.

A similar incident was reported in October last year, wherein a PLA soldier had strayed into the Indian territory. The soldier, identified as Wang Ya Long was caught in Demchok sector and later repatriated by the Indian Army.

The incidents comes amid a bitter standoff between the two Asian neighbours, troops of which clashed in a deadly hand-to-hand combat in June, 2020 resulting in the death of 20 Indian army men and an unknown casualties on the Chinese side. Months following June saw heavy movement of troops along the border and several rounds of failed talks.

In December, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the two countries had agreed the next round of military talks should be held soon for working towards an “early and complete” disengagement of troops along LAC in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements and protocols.

China, meanwhile, has brought in General Zhang Xudong as the new commander of the Western Theatre Command which oversees the China-India border, which has delayed the ninth round of talks between the two countries.China has asked India to immediately return its soldier who had strayed into Indian side of the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh and was caught by Indian troops on Friday.

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