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Chinese gov't protests Indian drone 'intrusion,' crash

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External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov will discuss key strategic issues at a day-long session in New Delhi on December 11

China's defence ministry expressed its "dissatisfaction and opposition" Thursday over the crash of an Indian unmanned aerial vehicle inside Chinese territory, the latest in a series of border incidents between the regional rivals. The acknowledgement was issued after China strongly objected to the Indian drone violating its territorial sovereignty. "China's border defence forces took a professional and responsible attitude in conducting an inspection of the device", Zhang said, adding that the military would resolutely defend national sovereignty and security.

The Chinese military's claim came months after India and China were locked in a standoff in the Dokalam sector after the Chinese troops began constructing a road near the Bhutan tri-junction. The two sides agreed to an "expeditious disengagement" of troops there about a week before Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in an effort to mend ties at a summit hosted by China in September. "Any suggestion to the contrary is incorrect", Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, was reported to have said.

India has admitted that one of its unmanned aerial vehicles "lost contact" and crossed over into China. "The matter is being dealt with in accordance with the established protocols through institutional mechanisms to deal with situations along the India- China border areas", it said.

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

The Indian Army uses the Heron drones to monitor the real-time movement of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

China said the drone crashed in "recent days" but didn't say where.

The defence ministry 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 73-day-long standoff ended on 28 August after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India's Chicken Neck corridor. New Delhi said the drone crossed the border by mistake, and China had been informed about it.

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