India drone 'intrusion' irks China

The incident comes to light days before Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s visit to Delhi to attend the Russia-India-China trilateral meeting on December 11

India's new ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale on Friday called on Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi ahead of his visit to New Delhi to attend the RIC ministers' meet as well as hold crucial talks with top Indian officials.

Neither China's military nor its ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) said when or where exactly the drone had crossed over, except that the incident took place at the Sino-India border in Sikkim.

Although the two countries have made moves toward warmer relations in recent years, they also have a long history of border tensions.

Beijing had lodged a diplomatic protest with India over the violation of its territorial sovereignty.

The boundary talks were last held in Beijing in April past year but suspended as frequent border patrol confrontations culminated in the 70-day military face-off along an unmarked border at the junction of Sikkim, Tibet and Bhutan.

He said China's border defense forces conducted "an inspection of the device", but didn't elaborate.

Even as it warned India of "far worse consequences" if found that the drone had entered Chinese airspace with "hostile intentions", it added, "It (India) needs to apologise to China". "The action of the Indian side violated China's sovereignty and it's not conducive to the peace and tranquility of the border area".

On Thursday, China said an Indian drone "invaded" its airspace before crashing on its side of the border, prompting Beijing to lodge protests with India.

The Indian army said an unmanned aerial vehicle was on a training mission over Indian territory when it developed technical problems and crossed a so-called line of actual control separating the countries' militaries.

"Unless it is done, troops on both sides will continue to patrol the area as per their own perception of the LAC, which clashes with the other's perception, leading to claims and counterclaims of transgressions and, quite frequently, stand-offs", he said.

India, however, said that the Chinese side was informed after the drone strayed into their territory.

India had objected to the construction highlighting its security concerns.

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