A Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier, who was nabbed by the Indian army for straying across the LAC in Ladakh, was handed back to China at the Chushul Moldo meeting point, officials said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing on Tuesday that China hopes India hands over the soldier as soon as possible and works with China to promote the implementation of the consensus reached at the 7th round of talks.
“As per established protocols, he will be returned to Chinese officials at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point after completion of formalities,” the army statement had said.
The PLA had issued a statement earlier saying a soldier went missing while looking for lost yaks on the evening of October 18. “After the incident, Chinese border guards took the initiative to report the situation to the Indian side as soon as possible, and hoped that the Indian side would assist in search and rescue,” Colonel Zhang Shuili, spokesperson of the Western Theatre Command, added.
Chinese Global Times in its report said that the Indian army’s gesture to return the PLA soldier is viewed as a positive sign ahead of the eighth round of China-India commander-level talks this week.
“India’s move is a goodwill gesture ahead of the eighth round talks,” Sun Shihai, an expert at the South Asia Research Center of Sichuan University, told the Global Times, adding that China and India had returned soldiers who strayed across the LAC before.