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China protests after India lost ground contact with a drone which strayed, crashed in Tibet

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

(TibetanReview.net, Dec09, 2017) – China said Dec 7 that it had voiced dissatisfaction and lodged representations to India after an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) intruded into Tibet from across Sikkim. India said it had alerted China, notifying that it had lost contact with the drone it was otherwise flying on its side of the border. The drone was stated to have crashed in Chinese ruled Tibet.

The official Xinhua news agency Dec 7 cited Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang as saying China’s border troops had conducted identification and verification of the vehicle.

“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 has said. “China demands the Indian side stop the close-in operation of its aerial vehicles in the border area and work with China to maintain peace and stability.”

An official Chinadaily.com.cn report Dec 7 also quoted Zhang Shuili, an officer with the joint staff department in the Western Theater of the People’s Liberation Army, as saying, “This action by India has undermined China’s territorial sovereignty. We express our strong dissatisfaction and opposition.”

He was further quoted as saying, “We will adamantly fulfill our duty and protect the security of national sovereignty.”

The Indian army has said the incident was being investigated. “An Indian UAV, which was on a regular training mission inside the Indian territory, lost contact with the ground control due to some technical problem and crossed over the LAC (Line of Actual Control) in the Sikkim Sector,” Ndtv.com Dec 7 cited quoted the army as saying.

“As per standard protocol, the Indian border security personnel immediately alerted their Chinese counterparts to locate the UAV. In response, the Chinese side reverted with the location details of the UAV,” the army statement was further quoted as saying.

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