Chinese soldier caught at LAC had sleeping bag, storage device

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 10/24/2020 10:38:03 AM

NEW DELHI, Oct 23: The Chinese soldier who was apprehended by Indian troops near the Demchok area was found to be carrying a sleeping bag, storage device and a mobile phone.
The soldier named Corporal Wang Ya Long had strayed across the Line of Actual Control into Indian territory in the Demchok area in eastern Ladakh and was apprehended by the Indian Army on Monday.
"The Chinese soldier was found carrying a sleeping bag, an empty data storage device and a mobile phone along with his military identity card by when he was apprehended by our security forces," government sources said.
He was thoroughly checked and questioned by the military authorities concerned as per the established protocols before being handed over to the Chinese at a long Border Personnel Meeting at Chushul meeting hut, they said.
In a statement about the incident, the army had stated that the Chinese soldier was "provided medical assistance including oxygen, food and warm clothes to protect him from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions".
The Indian Army said a request had been received from the PLA on the whereabouts of the missing soldier.
It said he would be returned "as per established protocols" after formalities were completed.
He was later returned to China on Tuesday night.
Following the handing over of the PLA soldier to China, Chinese newspaper Global Times reported that the Indian army's decision was viewed as a positive sign ahead of the eighth round of military talks.
The incident came amid a massive deployment of troops by the two armies in the region following the border standoff.
Both Indian and Chinese armies have deployed over 50,000 troops each along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh including in the Demchok sector following escalation of the five-month-long military standoff that began in early May.
The two sides have so far held seven rounds of high-level military talks on the border faceoff. The seventh round of talks was held on October 12.
There was no breakthrough on the disengagement of troops from the friction points so far.
India has all along been maintaining that the onus is on China to carry forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation at the friction points in the mountainous region.
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 a five-point agreement reached between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at a meeting in Moscow on September 10 on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation conclave.
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.



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