China says Indian drone ‘invaded’ its airspace and crashed
- Indian drone ‘invaded’ its airspace and crashed.
- Pakistan armed forces shot down a drone near the Line of Control with India.
China on Thursday claimed that an Indian drone recently “invaded” its airspace before crashing on its side across the Sino-Indian western border, months after the neighbours ended one of their worst border standoffs in decades.
An official media report by the Xinhua said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had voiced dissatisfaction with the “intrusion”.
“The Indian UAV intruded into China’s airspace and crashed recently, and China’s border troops have conducted identification and verification over the vehicle,” the Xinhua report quoted deputy head of the combat bureau of the Western Theatre Command’s joint staff department, Zhang Shuili, as saying.
“India’s move has infringed upon China’s territorial sovereignty, and we are strongly dissatisfied with and opposed to this. We will fulfil our mission and responsibility and defend China’s national sovereignty and security resolutely,” Zhang said.
The Xinhua report did not share any detail about when or exactly where the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) had violated the Sino-Indian border but quoted a senior officer as saying that the drone was identified to be Indian.
The report also did not specify what kind of markings the drone had or clarify who the PLA had complained to.
The army statement was released from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province and the headquarters of the PLA’s western theatre command.
It is likely that the alleged Indian drone could have been operating along India-Tibet border, given that the statement was released by the western theatre command. The western command, however, has jurisdiction over a large part of China comprising Sichuan, Tibet Autonomous Region, Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang.
This new friction along the border comes about two months after the two governments finally resolved a 70-odd day standoff between border troops near the Sikkim boundary.
Incidents involving drones have erupted before between the India, China and Pakistan in the last few years.
In 2015, Pakistan armed forces shot down a drone near the Line of Control with India, which later turned out to have been manufactured in China.
The drone was “recognised in Beijing as the Chinese-made DJI phantom 3”, the state media had then reported.
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