NEW DELHI (AP) — The Indian army said Saturday that it had apprehended a Chinese soldier in the remote Ladakh region, where the two countries are locked in a monthslong military standoff along their disputed mountain border.
An army statement said the Chinese soldier was taken into custody on Friday for transgressing into the Indian side in area South of Pangong Tso lake.
“The PLA (People’s Liberation Army) soldier is being dealt with as per laid down procedures and circumstances under which he had crossed the LAC (Line of Actual Control) are being investigated,’’ the statement said.
China said it informed the Indian side as soon as one of its soldiers went missing “due to darkness and complicated terrain.”
The Indian side later confirmed that it had found the missing soldier and said it would return him to the Chinese side, China’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
“The Indian side should strictly abide by relevant agreements between the two countries and hand over the lost personnel to the Chinese side as soon as possible, to add positive factors to cool down the situation at China-India border and jointly maintain peace and calm in the border area,” the statement said.
Indian and Chinese soldiers often lose their way in the disputed Himalayan region.
In October, India detained another Chinese soldier in Ladakh’s Demchok area, but he was freed after he was found to have strayed across the de facto border.
In September, China released five Indian nationals who went missing from the eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh amid simmering tensions between the two countries. The five men were Indian hunters.
The high-altitude standoff between the Asian giants began in early May with a fierce brawl, and exploded into hand-to-hand combat with clubs, stones and fists on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China is believed to also have had casualties, but has not given any details.