Returning lost Chinese soldier India's goodwill move to de-escalate border tensions: experts
Published: Jan 11, 2021 03:45 PM

China India Photo: Xinhua

The Global Times learned from sources on Monday that India has returned the Chinese soldier who got lost along the China-India border on January 8 morning and was held by the Indian military.

PLA Daily reported that the Chinese soldier was returned to the Chinese border armed forces on Monday noon.

China's frontier forces confirmed on Saturday that due to the darkness and complicated geography, a Chinese soldier went missing on the China-India border early Friday morning, and had urged India to return him. 

"The return of the lost Chinese frontier soldier is in accordance with the border regulation mechanism agreed by both countries. And India showed goodwill in de-escalating the border tension by returning the Chinese soldier within four days," Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Monday. 

Before the border tension, it usually took one or two days for India to return Chinese soldiers who accidentally got lost along the border, but this time it took longer, which is also understandable, as the Indian side had to carry out the necessary procedures to verify the soldier's identity and go through official steps, Qian said.  

The expert told the Global Times in a previous report that whether the Indian military would return the lost Chinese soldier promptly would be a touchstone on whether India is still willing to act in accordance with the agreement reached by the two sides through previous military talks.  

China informed India of the incident as soon as it occurred, and sought help from the Indian side. After two hours of searching, the soldier was found, said the frontier force.

There were previously occasions when soldiers from both sides lost their way and crossed the border.

On October 18, a PLA soldier went missing while helping a herdsman find his yak along the China-India border. India said on October 19 that it captured the soldier. On October 21, after China urged India to help in the search, India returned the soldier to China after a medical exam.

Global Times