China Calls For Quick Return of Its Soldier Held in Ladakh: Report
The soldier was reportedly taken into custody by the troops deployed in the area.
A Chinese soldier was apprehended on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the area South of Pangong Tso Lake during the early hours of 8 January, an official said.
Indian Army said that the PLA soldier had transgressed across the LAC and was taken into custody by Indian troops deployed in this area.
China Military Online, a news portal run by the military's official PLA Daily, said that Indian authorities should ‘promptly transfer’ the soldier back to China and ‘jointly maintain peace and tranquility in the border area’, reported Reuters.
“The Indian side should strictly adhere to relevant agreements reached by the two countries and waste no time to return the lost soldier to the Chinese side, so as to add positive factors for de-escalating the border tensions between the two countries and jointly maintaining peace and tranquillity in the China-India border areas,” it said.China Military Online, as quoted by PTI
Troops from either side are deployed along the LAC since friction erupted last year due to unprecedented mobilisation and forward concentration by Chinese troops.
“The PLA soldier is being dealt with as per laid down procedures and circumstances under which he had crossed the LAC, which is being investigated,” the Indian Army stated.
On 28 August, 2020 and 29 August, 2020, Indian troops in a precautionary deployment pre-empted Chinese expansionist designs and occupied heights along the southern bank of Pangong Tso.
The soldier on Friday was caught transgressing the same region.
Last week, the Defence Ministry in its year-end review had stated that PLA escalated the situation at the LAC in Eastern Ladakh by the utilisation of ‘unorthodox weapons and amassing large number of troops’.
The ministry said that the Chinese made unilateral and provocative actions to change the status quo by force, in more than one area on the LAC.
India has categorically conveyed to China that any attempt to unilaterally alter the status quo at the border is unacceptable and that India is determined to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
India and China are engaged in a nine-month-long standoff at the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.
(With inputs from IANS)
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