China Protests as Indian Drone Crashes Across the Line of Actual Control

China Protests as Indian Drone Crashes Across the Line of Actual Control

Indian border guards alerted their Chinese counterparts about the drone soon afterwards, an Indian army spokesman said.

Dokalam is located in the Sikkim section of the India, China border.

In Beijing, both the defence and foreign ministries said the Indian UAV had crashed into the Chinese side of the border recently.

On Thursday, the Chinese People's Liberation Army voiced "strong dissatisfaction and opposition" to what it claimed was the intrusion of an Indian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) into its airspace.

Terming the incident an infringement of China's territorial sovereignty, Zhang Shuili, deputy head of the combat bureau of China's Western Theatre Command's joint staff department, told the Chinese media the Indian UAV had entered Chinese airspace and crashed, with Chinese border troops investigating the drone.

"The action of the Indian side violated China's sovereignty and it is not conducive to the peace and tranquillity of the border area and China is dissatisfied with this and lodged solemn representation with the Indian side", Geng said.

"An Indian UAV which was on a regular training mission inside the Indian territory lost contact with the ground control due to some technical problem and crossed over the [Line of Actual Control] in the Sikkim Sector". The exact cause of the incident is under investigation, the MoD said.

"I want to point out that the Sikkim section of China-Indian border has been delineated". For more than two months which was filled with heated rhetoric, China and India were locked in a tense standoff in a border area known as Doklam and it only ended when there was high-level intervention in August. The drone incident comes in the backdrop of a recent 73-day standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam, which also happens to be in the Sikkim sector where the UAV was operating. "We will fulfil our mission and responsibility and defend China's sovereignty and security resolutely", he added.

The UAV incident comes ahead of a trilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of India, China, and Russian Federation next week in New Delhi. Asked whether the UAV issue would figure in Wang's talks with Indian officials when he visits Delhi, he said the "goal" of Wang's visit was to attend the trilateral meeting.

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