A soldier who went missing from an island off the Chinese coast has been found in China, Taiwan says

TAIPEI (CNN) — A Taiwanese soldier who went missing on an island off the Chinese coast has been found on mainland China, the head of Taiwan’s China Policy Agency said Monday.

The soldier, surnamed Chen, went missing on Erdan Island after being commissioned on Thursday morning, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement Thursday afternoon. The ministry said it has formed a special task force to trace the soldier and identify the cause.

Erdan Island, part of the Taiwanese-controlled Kinmen Islands, lies 5 kilometers from the Chinese city of Xiamen, Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported.

On Monday, Chiu Tai-chan, minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, said China had notified Taiwan that the soldier was now on the Chinese mainland.

Chiu said the two sides have communication channels to handle emergency situations and fight crime. “The Ministry of Defense and the Coast Guard administration are actively understanding the progress and the relevant situation,” said Chiu, adding that the Ministry of Defense has existing mechanisms to determine whether or not a soldier should be identified as a deserter.

CNN has reached out to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry for comment.

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Esmond Harmon

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