09:55 GMT21 January 2021
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    The border standoff between India and China has again escalated after India arrested a Chinese soldiers on Friday. In June last year, 20 Indian soldiers and several Chinese officers were reportedly killed in the Ladakh region's Galwan valley during a fierce battle.

    The Indian Army has apprehended a Chinese soldier from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) who crossed over the disputed mountainous border between the two countries on Friday. 

    "The PLA soldier had transgressed across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and was taken into custody by Indian troops deployed in this area of South of Pangong Tso Lake," a statement issued by the Indian Army on Saturday read.

    Troops from both sides have been deployed along the LAC since tensions boiled over last year when China mobilised an unprecedented number of soldiers in the area.  

    "The PLA soldier is being dealt with as per laid down procedures and circumstances under which he had crossed the LAC are being investigated," the statement further added.

    This is the second time that India has arrested a Chinese soldier amid the border standoff. In October last year, another was taken into custody after straying into India while helping a herdsman find a lost yak – he was returned to Chinese authorities later the same month. 

    China had also freed 10 Indian soldiers, including four officers who had reportedly been taken prisoner by the PLA following the deadly Galwan skirmish on 15-16 June last year. 

    Earlier on Friday, India's Foreign Ministry said that both countries have agreed to hold a ninth round of talks between senior commanders in a bid to deescalate the border situation.  

    "In the meantime, both sides have maintained communication on ground level to avoid any misunderstandings and misjudgments even as discussions continue for achieving complete disengagement in all friction areas in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements to restore peace and tranquility," Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson for India's Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday.



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