Indian side returns Chinese soldier who crossed Himalayan border - China military paper

FILE PHOTO: An Indian Air Force's Apache helicopter is seen in the Ladakh region, September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

FILE PHOTO: An Indian Air Force's Apache helicopter is seen in the Ladakh region, September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

BEIJING, October 21 (Reuters): A Chinese soldier who had strayed across a contested de facto border with India in the Himalayas has been handed back by the Indian side, according to a report by China's official military newspaper, the PLA Daily.

The soldier was handed over early Wednesday morning, according to the report.

Both countries have amassed thousands of troops in the region after a deadly clash in June.

The nuclear-armed neighbours have been locked in a months-long border confrontation in the Ladakh region, with troops killing each other in hand-to-hand combat and firing shots in the air.

Earlier report: The Indian army said on Monday that it had captured a Chinese soldier after he strayed across a contested de facto border in the western Himalayan region where both countries have amassed thousands of troops after a deadly clash in June.

The People's Liberation Army soldier was apprehended in the Demchok area of eastern Ladakh, and would be returned after the completion of formalities, the Indian army said in a statement.

"The PLA soldier has been provided medical assistance including oxygen, food and warm clothes to protect him from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions," the statement said.

The nuclear-armed neighbours have been locked in a months-long border confrontation in the Ladakh region, with troops killing each other in hand-to-hand combat and firing shots in the air.

Both sides have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks, but have made little headway.

There was no immediate comment from China on the capture of its soldier. But the editor-in-chief of state-backed Global Times said in a tweet that the matter was being resolved.

"Based on what I know, one Chinese soldier was detained by Indian side, very likely because of getting lost," said Hu Xijin.

"Indian side has a positive attitude. The soldier will be returned to China. The issue should not cause new tensions in the border area."


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