China soldier who strayed into Ladakh carried sleeping bag, mobile: Official
A Chinese soldier who was held by the Indian Army after he strayed into India in the Ladakh sector on October 19 and was returned the next evening was carrying a military sleeping bag, a storage device and a mobile phone along with a charger, officials familiar with the developments said on Friday.
Corporal Wang Ya Long was apprehended in eastern Ladakh’s Demchok sector after he strayed across the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC), amid the ongoing border tensions with China in the sensitive region where both armies have deployed more than 50,000 soldiers each with advanced weapons and systems.
“The PLA soldier was apparently moving from one location to another on the Chinese side of the LAC when he lost his way. He was carrying a sleeping bag, a storage device, his military identity card and a mobile with a charger. He was released after a thorough interrogation and completion of the necessary formalities,” the officials said.
He was returned to the PLA at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point, where senior commanders from both armies have been holding military talks to reduce friction in the eastern Ladakh theatre.
On the day he was held, the army said in a statement that Corporal Wang had been provided medical assistance, including oxygen, food and warm clothes to protect him “from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions”.
Indian and Chinese military commanders met for the seventh time on October 12 in their latest attempt to defuse tensions. The Indian side demanded comprehensive disengagement at all flashpoints and restoration of status quo ante of early April during the talks.
The two sides agreed to continue with the dialogue process to arrive at a mutually-acceptable solution for early disengagement in the eastern Ladakh theatre. In a joint press statement issued a day after the talks, they said they had a better understanding of each other’s positions in the sector after the latest round of talks.
India and China are expected to hold the eight round of military talks soon, although a date has not been announced yet.
The situation in the eastern Ladakh theatre will also figure prominently on the agenda for the upcoming Army commanders’ conference that will be held in New Delhi from October 26-29.