The Indian army captured a Chinese soldier who they claim strayed across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Demchok area of the disputed region of Ladakh on Monday, October 19. Army sources stated the People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldier has been looked after and will be returned upon the completion of formalities. China has not commented on the incident.
The incident is likely to further increase tensions in the hotly contested border zone and clashes between Indian and Chinese forces cannot be ruled out in the medium term.
China has administered Aksai Chin, including the Galwan Valley, since the conclusion of the Sino-Indian war of 1962. The Indian government disputes China's control of the area; although the Chinese and Indian governments agreed in 2005 to a resolution of the border dispute, no further progress has been made on the demarcation of the LAC. In 1996 both countries agreed to bar the use of guns and explosives along the LAC, although clashes still occur. India's recent construction of infrastructure near the LAC has acted as a point of contention between the two sides. Tensions along the border remain high following clashes which erupted in June in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, the deadliest violence between the two sides in decades.
Those present in the region are advised to avoid the vicinity of the disputed area, monitor developments, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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