China protests India's drone 'intrusion' in Sikkim sector

K J M VARMA
Beijing/New Delhi, Publish Date: Dec 8 2017 12:52AM | Updated Date: Dec 8 2017 12:52AM
China protests India's drone 'intrusion' in Sikkim sector

An Indian drone "crossed over" the border with China and crashed in the Sikkim sector which includes Dokalam after losing contact with the ground control, prompting Beijing to lodge a diplomatic protest with India over the violation of China's territorial sovereignty.

China's Defence Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Indian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed into the Chinese side of the border recently.

"Recently an Indian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) invaded China's airspace and crashed in the Sikkim section of China- India border," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing here.

He said the Chinese border troops had taken a "professional and responsible attitude" to verify the device.

Geng did not spell out when the incident had taken place.

In New Delhi, India's defence ministry today said an unmanned aerial vehicle had "crossed over" the border with China in the Sikkim sector after losing contact with the ground control due to some technical problem.

It said the Indian border security personnel, as per standard protocol, immediately alerted their Chinese counterparts to locate the UAV and they later reverted with its location.

The defence ministry said the exact cause of the incident is under investigation.

Sources said the UAV belonged to the Indian Army.

The incident comes to light days before Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to New Delhi to attend the Russia- India-China trilateral meeting.

"I want to point out that the Sikkim section of the China India border has been delimited," Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman said, in an apparent reference to the 1890 China- British Treaty.

Beijing often referred to the 1890 Britain-China treaty during the lengthy Dokalam standoff, stating that it has defined the Sikkim section of the boundary with Tibet, therefore the border in that area has been settled.

"The action of the Indian side violated China's sovereignty and it is not conducive to the peace and tranquillity of the border area and China is dissatisfied with this and lodged solemn representation with the Indian side," Geng said.

In its diplomatic protest to India, "China asked the Indian side to stop the activities of the devices near the border and work with China to maintain peace and tranquillity of the border areas", he said. PTI