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Tensions Flare After Indian Drone Strays Into Chinese Airspace

Beijing/New Delhi(Alliance News) - An Indian drone that strayed into Chinese airspace and ...

Alliance News 7 December, 2017 | 1:12PM
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Beijing/New Delhi(Alliance News) - An Indian drone that strayed into Chinese airspace and crashed at an undisclosed location and time has ratcheted up tensions between Beijing and New Delhi.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday that China's border troops "recently" inspected a Indian drone that had crashed in Chinese territory.

Hours later, India's Defence Ministry confirmed that its ground control lost contact with an unmanned aircraft that then strayed across the north-eastern Indian border in Sikkim state.

Neither side said when the incident took place.

"India's move has infringed upon China's territorial sovereignty, and we are strongly dissatisfied with and opposed to this," Zhang Shuili, deputy head of the Chinese army's Western Theater Command joint staff department, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

China will defend its sovereignty and security, Zhang added.

India's Defence Ministry said the drone was on on a regular training mission when it lost contact due to a technical problem and crossed over into China-controlled territory.

Indian border security personnel contacted their Chinese counterparts to locate it and the Chinese side had responded with its location, the Defence Ministry statement said.

"The exact cause of the incident is under investigation," and the matter was being dealt with in accordance with "established protocols" of handling such situations along the India-China border areas, the statement added.

China and India this year had a months-long military stand-off at a disputed border area in the Himalayas, which ended in August after diplomatic talks.

The two countries had rowed over the Doklam Plateau, an uninhabited region claimed by both China and Bhutan, India's ally.

India and China dispute several sections of their ill-defined 3,500-kilometre border, most of which runs along the Himalayan range. The two countries fought a war over their border in 1962.

Copyright dpa

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