Representational image
Representational image

The Indian Army on Tuesday night handed over the Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldier who had strayed across the LAC a few days earlier. Chinese soldier Corporal Wang Ya Long was handed over to the Chinese Army at the Chushul Moldo meeting point, last night.

He had been apprehended in the Demchok sector of Eastern Ladakh on Monday. Earlier reports had indicated that he would be handed over with a warning. As per a statement released by the Indian Army, the Chinese corporal had been provided medical assistance including oxygen, food and warm clothes to protect him from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions. A Chinese corporal incidentally is equivalent to a Naik in the Indian Army.

With the two countries locked in a military standoff for several months, both the Indian and Chinese armies have deployed over 50,000 troops each along the LAC in eastern Ladakh. This includes the Demchok sector.

There have been several attempts by the Chinese soldiers to "intimidate" Indian troops along border in the Pangong lake area, and talks are underway to resolve the situation. Earlier in September, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi had held talks in Moscow, reaching a five-point agreement to defuse the situation in eastern Ladakh. The pact included measures like quick disengagement of troops, avoiding action that could escalate tensions, adherence to all agreements and protocols on border management and steps to restore peace along the LAC.

In the meantime, India and China are preparing to hold another round of Corps Commander-level military talks to continue their discussion on the disengagement process in Eastern Ladakh. This would be the eighth high-level military talks on the border faceoff. The last round, held on October 12, had seen no major breakthrough with regards disengagement.

Following the sixth round of military talks, the two sides had announced a slew of decisions including not to send more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground and avoid taking any actions that may further complicate matters. This round was held with a specific agenda of exploring ways to implement the five-point agreement.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Free Press Journal