Indian army trucks drive near Pangong Tso lake near the India China border in India’s Ladakh area. File/AP
The Indian military on Monday said it had handed back a Chinese soldier held near a remote Himalayan border where thousands of troops from the two nuclear-armed neighbours have been facing off for months after a deadly clash.
“The PLA soldier who had been apprehended on Jan.8, 2021, has been handed back to China at Chushul-Moldo at 10.10 am today,” the Indian Army said in a statement, referring to the People’s Liberation Army of China.
China had called on Saturday for the swift return of a soldier who had gone missing a day earlier along the border, adding it had reported the incident to Indian authorities.
The soldier had been apprehended by Indian troops south of Pangong Tso lake in the western Himalayan region of Ladakh, which borders Chinese-controlled Tibet, an Indian official said.
This is the second such incident in recent months. Last October, a Chinese soldier straying across the border in Ladakh’s Demchok had been held by Indian troops and returned within days.
Indian and Chinese troops remain locked in a high-altitude confrontation along the border in Ladakh, where soldiers clashed in brutal hand-to-hand combat last June.
Twenty Indian troops were killed in the clash, and the Chinese side suffered an undisclosed number of casualties.
Both sides have since said that they are looking to find ways to de-escalate the situation on the border, but talks have made little headway and both sides have maintained a heavy military deployment through the freezing winter months.
Indian politicians of the old were of different mettle. Months before the war with China, prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru undermined the importance of Aksai Chin on the Indo-China border, an area claimed by India, but controlled by China.“It is a territory where not even a blade of grass grows, about 17,000 feet high. Ladakh is a useless uninhabitable land,” he said.
The continuing escalation of India-China tension on the border leading to a large-scale physical attack by Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) men on Indian personnel on the Line of Actual Control (LAC)
After a fierce physical fight on the undefined Ladakh border left many dead on both sides, India and China are trying to defuse the situation. The nasty clash, in which soldiers used rods, stones and bare hands, occurred even as talks
The Indian and Chinese foreign ministers have agreed that their troops should disengage from a tense border standoff, maintain proper distance and ease tensions in the cold-desert Ladakh region where the two sides in June had their deadliest clash
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