India returns Chinese soldier held for crossing disputed border

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dpa/GNA – Indian authorities on Monday released a Chinese soldier who was held last week on the Indian side of a disputed border in the Ladakh region, officials said.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier was handed back to Chinese forces at the Chushul-Moldo point in the high-altitude region this morning, a senior Indian defence official told dpa.

The soldier, treated according to established procedures, was questioned for spying on deployment of Indian troops in the border region, according to reports in the domestic media.

The soldier had crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the area south of Pangong Tso lake in the early hours of Friday and was taken into custody by Indian troops deployed in the area.

India and China have been locked in a serious stand-off since May along the LAC, an informal border, in the mountainous Ladakh region.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in June in the worst confrontation between the neighbours in 45 years.

China and India are in talks to de-escalate the situation and pull back troops, but there has been no resolution yet.

There is a large mobilization of troops from both sides along the line of control in mountainous terrain with peaks of between 4,500 and 5,500 metres in height.

In a similar incident in October, India captured a Chinese soldier who had strayed across the line of control. He was handed back to the Chinese Army after two days.

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