India returns captured Chinese soldier who ‘strayed’ across border

Stuti Mishra
·2 min read
India China Military Standoff has been ongoing since May this year (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
India China Military Standoff has been ongoing since May this year (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

India released a Chinese soldier on Wednesday after he was detained at the weekend amid the ongoing border standoff between the two countries.

Indian government sources said the soldier was handed back over to China late on Tuesday night, though further details were not immediately available.

China claimed on Tuesday that the soldier had been “helping herders round-up yaks when he lost his way on Sunday evening,” adding that the country would expect India to “honour the pledge” to hand him back safely.

India identified the soldier as Corporal Wang Ya Long and said he was “apprehended” in the Demchok sector of eastern Ladakh after straying onto the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

India also issued a statement where they said the Chinese soldier will be returned upon completion of unspecified “formalities”.

“A request has also been received from the PLA about the whereabouts of the missing soldier. As per established protocols, he will be returned back to Chinese officials at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point after completion of formalities," the statement read.

The Indian Army also said that the soldier has been provided with medical facilities, food and appropriate warm clothes to “protect him from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions.”

Experts believe the move could bring about a positive change in the strained relations of both countries.

The Himalayan area has been seeing months of tensions between the two bordering nations as thousands of troops backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets were brought along the high altitude LAC. The escalation, that started in May this year, had seen both sides accusing each other of making incursions into each other’s territory, and shots have been fired at the border for the first time in 45 years.

In June, situation got worse when soldiers of both sides fought with clubs and other makeshift weapons. India lost 20 soldiers while China didn’t disclose any number of the casualties on their end.

India and China have fought each other in 1962 Indo-Sino war over the disputed border. India’s decision last year to separate Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir state also received strong opposition from China, which raised the matter at the UN Security Council.

Read more

India captures Chinese soldier in border standoff

China calls on India to return soldier and says he was ‘herding yaks’

India and China are edging closer to war