SRINAGAR, India (AP) — The Indian military said it apprehended a Chinese soldier Monday in the remote Ladakh region, where the two countries are locked in a monthslong military standoff along their disputed border.
A statement by the Indian army said the soldier, Corporal Wang Ya Long from China’s People’s Liberation Army, was apprehended inside Indian-controlled Ladakh’s Demchok area and was to be released soon.
“As per established protocols, he will be returned back to Chinese officials at the Chushul–Moldo meeting point after completion of formalities,” the statement said.
China did not immediately comment about the soldier’s capture.
The high-altitude standoff between the Asian giants began in early May with a fierce brawl, and exploded into hand-to-hand combat with clubs, stones and fists on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China is believed to also have had casualties, but has not given any details.
The nuclear-armed rivals have accused each other of crossing into rival territory and of firing shots for the first time in 45 years.
India and China have stationed tens of thousands of rival soldiers on both sides backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets and are bracing for a harsh winter in the cold-desert region, where temperatures can fall to minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 58 Fahrenheit).
They have held several rounds of talks by military, diplomatic and political officials, including negotiations between their foreign ministers and defense ministers in Moscow last month. Although the standoff has persisted, the talks seem to have calmed the situation along the border, with no new military aggression reported for a month now.