Chinese Media Claims Indian Drone Invaded China's Airspace, Violated 'Territorial Sovereignty'

Gladys Abbott
December 8, 2017

A ministry statement said the drone was on a routine training mission in Indian airspace when it lost contact with ground control and crossed the LAC.

The Indian border security personnel immediately alerted their Chinese counterparts over the missing UAV, MoD said.

The defence ministry here said the exact cause of the incident is under investigation.

The world's two most populous countries are addressing the issue in accordance with established protocols; through institutional mechanisms set up to address situations that occur along the India-China border. Sources said India will, through diplomatic channels, seek its return.

"The Indian UAV intruded into China's airspace and crashed recently, and China's border troops have conducted identification and verification over the vehicle", the Xinhua report quoted deputy head of the combat bureau of the Western Theatre Command's joint staff department, Zhang Shuili, as saying.

Shuili said the development "infringed upon China's territorial sovereignty and we are strongly dissatisfied with and opposed to this".

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The newly-created Western Theater Command is the largest of the five military divisions in China.

The 73-day stand-off ended in August with troops of both nations pulling back their troops from the disputed territory claimed by both Bhutan and China. China's Defence Ministry said that the Indian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed into the Chinese side of the border.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said: "Recently an Indian unmanned aircraft invaded China's airspace and crashed in the Sikkim section of China-India border".

The Indian Army and the China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) had, on August 28, made a decision to disengage their troops from the disputed area.

At the RIC foreign ministers' meeting, India is also likely to raise a number of contentitious issues involving China including its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), opposition to India's bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group and stonewalling of the move to declare JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN. It is expected to be followed by the 20th round of India-China boundary talks in New Delhi between Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who are the designated Special Representatives.

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