India returns Chinese soldier detained at border

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Soldier detained amid India-China military standoff along Line of Actual Control.

India on Monday released a Chinese soldier detained on its border region in Ladakh, where armies of the two countries are locked in a standoff since May 2020.

“The PLA [People’s Liberation Army] soldier who had been apprehended […] has been handed back to China at Chushul-Moldo at 10.10AM [0440GMT] today,” an army statement said.

It said on Saturday that a Chinese soldier was detained after he crossed the Line of Actual Control, the undefined border between India and China in the disputed Himalayan region.

China had called for the immediate return of the soldier who went astray, and the state-run Global Times newspaper has now confirmed the repatriation.

India moved thousands of troops to the border after 20 of its soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese counterparts said to be armed with nail-studded clubs in June last year. The casualties on the Chinese side are still not known.

Pravin Sawhney, a former Indian army officer and editor of defense magazine FORCE, told Anadolu Agency last week that “a sizable number” of Indian soldiers deployed in Kashmir had been shifted to the border with China in Ladakh province.