The Chinese soldier apprehended by the Indian army on Monday after he strayed across the LAC into the Indian Territory in Demchok area in eastern Ladakh, has been returned to the PLA. The Chinese counterpart has confirmed the news of the return of the soldier identified as Corporal Wang Ya Long.
The trespassing incident happened as both armies are involved in a tense military standoff in the eastern Ladakh region since early May. Military of both sides is on standby along the LAC. Both sides have deployed nearly 50,000 troops each, and have positioned additional artillery, tanks, and air defence assets.
The Indian army, in a statement, mentioned that the Chinese soldier had been given “medical assistance including oxygen, food and warm clothes to protect him from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions”.
The army also stated that a request had been received from the PLA on the whereabouts of the missing soldier. The Indian army assured that he would be returned “as per established protocols” after the formalities were completed.
In a statement released by PLA’s spokesperson of the Western Theater Command, Colonel Zhang Shuili on Monday stated that the Chinese National Defense Ministry had pointed out “on the evening of October 18, one of my soldiers who requested help from the herders to find the yak was lost”.
The statement 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”.
Ever since the stalemate in May, both nations have been involved in the military and diplomatic dialogue to resolve the standoff. However, even after seven rounds of meetings at the level of Corps Commanders, there has been no sight of a solution yet. The eighth round of meeting of the senior military commanders is likely to take place this week, but a date hasn’t been finalized.