India army apprehends Chinese soldier amid military standoff

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2020, file photo, an Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, northeast of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir. The Indian military said it apprehended a Chinese soldier Monday, Oct. 19, in the remote Ladakh region, where the two countries are locked in a monthslong military standoff along their disputed border. (AP Photo/ Dar Yasin, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2020, file photo, an Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, northeast of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir. The Indian military said it apprehended a Chinese soldier Monday, Oct. 19, in the remote Ladakh region, where the two countries are locked in a monthslong military standoff along their disputed border. (AP Photo/ Dar Yasin, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SRINAGAR – The Indian army 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 mountain border.

The soldier, Cpl. 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, the army said in a statement.

It said the soldier “had strayed” across the de facto border along the eastern section of what’s known as the Line of Actual Control, a loose demarcation separating Indian- and Chinese-controlled areas.

“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 on the soldier’s apprehension.

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.

China detained at least 10 Indian soldiers, including four officers, following the deadly brawl. They were returned three days later after intense military and diplomatic negotiations.

The Indian army statement Monday said the Indian side had received an inquiry from China’s military “about the whereabouts of the missing soldier.”