An army statement said the drone crossed over into Chinese territory after a "technical problem" and Chinese soldiers had been alerted in keeping with the "standard protocol". While Indian officials did not give any more information on the UAV, including the timing of the incident, the episode assumes significance in the backdrop of the 73-day standoff at Doklam, near the tri-junction between India's Sikkim, China and Bhutan which had ended at the end of August.
The possibility of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) being shot down or electronically taken over can not be ruled out, sources said.
The claim was first made by Zhang Shuili, deputy head of the combat bureau of China's Western Theater Command's joint staff department, who said an Indian unmanned aerial vehicle had recently intruded into China's airspace and crashed.
Months after a tense standoff between China and India along their Himalayan border, Beijing on Thursday expressed anger over what it says was an Indian drone that crashed inside its territory.
China said the drone crashed in "recent days" but didn't say where.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media that the Chinese border troops had taken a "professional and responsible attitude" to verify the device.
"We will fulfill our mission and responsibility and defend China's national sovereignty and security resolutely", he added.
The exact location where the incident took place was also not mentioned. "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".
While the precise area of the incident remains unclear, with neither side offering precise details, the Sikkim sector of the India-China border in the east has been a hotspot between the two sides.
The UAV incident comes ahead of a trilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of India, China, and Russian Federation next week in New Delhi. According to the reports, the drone has crossed the LoC at Sikkim.
Asked if the incident will have a negative impact on the bilateral meet, Geng said: "I think Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit's goal is to attend the foreign ministers' meeting".
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