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Beijing not happy as Indian drone crashes into 'Chinese territory'

08 December, 2017, 01:36 | Author: Paula Vaughn
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China today said an Indian drone had recently "intruded" into its airspace and crashed in the Sikkim sector, prompting it to lodge a diplomatic protest to India over the violation of China's territorial sovereignty.

The newly-created Western Theater Command is the largest of the five military divisions in China. The Indian drone "intruded" into China's airspace and crashed recently, and China's border troops have conducted identification and verification over the vehicle, said Zhang Shuili, deputy head of the combat bureau of the Western Theatre Command's joint staff department.

"An Indian unmanned aerial vehicle (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 LAC in the Sikkim Sector", a Ministry of Defence statement said, according to The Indian Express.

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

The claims do not include details about the timing or specific location of the incident.

The incident comes shortly after both nations pulled back their troops to resolve the Doka La standoff.

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The armies of India and China were engaged in a 73-day-long standoff in Dokalm after Indian troops stopped Chinese soldiers from building a key road in the area.

India is likely to push for naming Pakistan-based terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e- Mohammed in the communique to be adopted at the Russia-India- China (RIC) trilateral meeting here on Monday, citing a similar move by the BRICS grouping.

Though India may raise the contentious issues, it will highlight the need for joining hands by the three countries to pursue common strategic interests in the region, it is learnt.

Geng added that the drone crash "violated China's sovereignty" and was not "conducive to the peace and tranquility of the border area". Even though India had clarified that there was nothing alarming taking place in the region and that there were "no new developments" at the "face-off site and its vicinity", the matter is likely to come up during Wang's visit.

The first "seemingly abrupt change" occurred on August 28 when China and India suddenly ended their stand-off, he said.

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