China says Indian drone violated its airspace, crashed


The Indian army said an unmanned aerial vehicle was on a training mission over Indian territory when it developed technical problems and crossed a so-called line of actual control separating the countries' militaries. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will pay a visit to New Delhi on December 11 for talks with his Indian and Chinese counterparts Sushma Swaraj and Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

It cited Zhang as saying Chinese border troops identified the device and would continue to maintain China's sovereignty and security. The exact cause of the incident is under investigation. "Matter being dealt with in accordance with established protocols", it added.

Earlier, the Chinese military claimed that an Indian drone had "intruded" into China's airspace and expressed its "strong dissatisfaction and opposition to the intrusion".

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While India and Bhutan said that it violated the status quo along the India-Bhutan-China global trijunction, Beijing claimed that it was China's territory.

In remarks carried widely by state media outlets, Mr Zhang said Chinese border forces had conducted "verifications" of the alleged drone.

Chinese military's western theatre command jurisdiction covers nearly all of the 3488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC), including Tibet's border region with India and the Ladakh region.

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Three months ago, the neighbours ended one of their worst border stand-offs in decades.

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

The standoff began in mid-June after Chinese troops started building a road on the remote Doklam plateau. India had objected to the construction highlighting its security concerns. Army chief Bipin Rawat had said in September that India could not afford to be complacent and must be prepared for war.

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