China says Indian drone violated its airspace, crashed

Marat Abulkhatin  Russian State Duma

"The matter is being dealt with in accordance with the established protocols through institutional mechanisms to deal with situations along the India- China border areas", it said.

China formally complained about the incident with Indian diplomats, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing. He said that the Indian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) "intruded into China's airspace and crashed recently, and China's border troops have conducted identification and verification over the vehicle".

China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported that members of the People's Liberation Army retrieve the drone from an undisclosed location. "We express strong dissatisfaction and opposition", Xinhua cited Zhang Shuili, a senior military official in China's western battle zone command, as saying.

Although the two countries have made moves toward warmer relations in recent years, they also have a long history of border tensions. The department's jurisdiction includes areas on China's border with India and Bhutan.

"Since the China-India boundary in the Sikkim sector has been delimited, India has infringed upon China's territorial sovereignty, which has jeopardized peace and stability in the border regions", Geng said. The two sides agreed to an "expeditious disengagement" of troops there about a week before Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in an effort to mend ties at a summit hosted by China in September.

"I want to point out that the Sikkim section of China-Indian border has been delineated".

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the Indian Army crashed around Dokalam in the Sikkim sector after it "crossed" the border into China following a technical problem, prompting Beijing to lodge a diplomatic protest with India.

Earlier on Thursday morning, China said the entry of the drone had violated its territorial sovereignty. The northeastern Indian state of Sikkim borders China via Tibet, as well as Bhutan and Nepal.

The two countries have also always been at odds over India's hosting of Tibet's government-in-exile and their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, considered by China to be subversive because of his calls for Tibetan independence.

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