China Claims Indian Drone "Invaded Airspace in Crash"

Gladys Abbott
December 10, 2017

The trips by Foreign Minister Wang Yi and State Councillor Yang Jiechi - more than three months after the worst border row between the two countries in almost three decades - showed that both Beijing and New Delhi meant to get ties back on track, observers said.

The deputy director of the Chinese Army's western theatre combat bureau Zhang Shuil, said in a statement, "The Indian move violated China's territorial sovereignty".

Beijing had lodged a diplomatic protest with India over the violation of its territorial sovereignty.

Beijing was also uneasy about India's plan to intensify surveillance and build as many as 50 more outposts and 25 roads near the border, including a 150km road in Uttarakhand in the central sector, which has largely remained peaceful over the years.

An Indian drone has reportedly "invaded China's airspace and crashed" on its territory this week.

"I know that China has lodged solemn representation to the Indian side", he said.

Weeks after the escalating tensions, which includes heated banters from both sides, the stand-off ended in August when the two countries pulled back their troops.

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In remarks carried widely by state media outlets, Zhang stated that the Chinese border forces had conducted "verifications" with regards to the drone. "We will earnestly carry out our duty and resolutely defend our country's sovereignty and security".

Sources said the drone was an Israeli Heron UAV, and that it crashed on the Chinese side of the border across north Sikkim.

However, according to the Indian army, the drone had been "deployed on a training mission and has developed a technical problem". Thereafter, Indian Defence Ministry informed Chinese authorities of the incident and requested them to return the drone through proper diplomatic channels.

The Chinese have reverted with the location details of the UAV.

"The exact cause of the incident is under investigation".

In June, Donald Trump authorized sales of two dozen maritime reconnaissance drones to India-with an estimated price tag of $3 billion-to help counter China's growing influence in the Indian Ocean.

The strong reaction from China also comes days ahead of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to India for the Russia, India and China Foreign Ministers meeting.

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