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China alleges Indian drone invaded its airspace, crashed across the border

08 December 2017

"The matter is being dealt with in accordance with the established protocol through institutional mechanisms to deal with situations along the India-China border areas", the statement said.

"The Indian UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) intruded into China's airspace and crashed recently, and Chinese border troops have conducted identification and verification over the vehicle", Xinhua news agency quoted Zhang Shuili, deputy head of the combat bureau of the Western Theater Command's joint staff department, as saying. The military's charge comes ahead of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to New Delhi to take part in the Russia-India-China (RIC) Foreign Ministers meeting to be held on December 11. The source said the drone had gone missing earlier this week, but the exact date of the incident was not revealed.

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Observers say Wang's meetings with Indian leaders followed by Yang-Doval talks were expected to throw light on China's policy approach to India in Xi s second term, specially his policy towards neighbours, which he had outlined at the CPC Congress. However, there was no immediate response from the Indian Defence Ministry.

Geng did not specify when the drone crashed, but said it had occurred "recently".

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Even though the Doklam standoff at the India-China border in Sikkim ended amicably, with the nations withdrawing their troops, things still seem to be a tad tense between the two. The report said the that the statement was released by the western theatre command and it was likely that the alleged Indian drone could have been operating along India-Tibet border. India had intervened on Bhutan's behalf as Chinese building activities threatened "Chicken's Neck"- a narrow strip of land connecting Indian mainland to its northeastern states. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media here yesterday that Wang will meet top Indian officials on its sidelines.

Wang's visit is regarded significant as it is first by a top Chinese official to India after the Doklam standoff which strained ties between the two neighbours.

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Though India may raise the contentious issues, it will highlight the need for joining hands by the three countries to pursue common strategic interests in the region, it is learnt. The road was being built by the Chinese troops in the area also claimed by Bhutan.

China alleges Indian drone invaded its airspace, crashed across the border