Friday, 15 December, 2017

India admits its drone lost contact and crossed into China

Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj will host in the 15th RIC foreign ministerial meeting in New Delhi on 11 December 2017 Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj will host in the 15th RIC foreign ministerial meeting in New Delhi on 11 December 2017
Kenny Thornton | 07 December, 2017, 12:14

India and China were recently locked in a standoff in the Dokalam after Chinese troops began constructing a road near the Bhutan trijunction. A ministry statement said the drone was on a routine training mission in Indian airspace when it lost contact with ground control and crossed the LAC.

Indian border guards alerted their Chinese counterparts about the drone soon afterwards, an Indian army spokesman said. Exact cause of the incident is under investigation.

The matter is being dealt with in accordance with established protocols and through institutional mechanisms that exist for similar situations in the India- China border areas, the statement added.

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.

On Thursday, Chinese defence ministry voiced strong dissatisfaction and opposition to the "intrusion by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) belonging to New Delhi".

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Chinese border troops "took a professional and responsible attitude" and carried out identification verification of the device, said Mr Zhang.

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

The 73-day-long Dokalam standoff ended on August 28 after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India's Chicken Neck corridor.

The diplomat added that the parties would discuss coordination of efforts within the UN, BRICS (that involves Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the G20, the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Regional Security Forum.

After both sides withdrew, India's army chief said in September that his country could not afford to be complacent and must be prepared for war.

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