New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) – An Indian drone has “invaded Chinese airspace and crashed” into its territory , according to Chinese state media, which add that the incident occurred in recent days, without providing further details. The story is likely to reignite the military tension between the two Asian giants, protagonists in recent months of a bitter territorial dispute on the Doklam plateau, on the border with Bhutan.
Zhang Shuili, deputy director of the Western Theater Command’s combat office, said: “India’s move has infringed upon China’s territorial sovereignty, and we are strongly dissatisfied with and opposed to this. We will fulfill our mission and responsibility and defend China’s national sovereignty and security resolutely”.
On the Indian side, no declaration has yet been issued. Relations between New Delhi and Beijing quickly worsened last summer, when India deployed its troops to defend the Himalayan plateau, where the Chinese authorities had begun building a road. The Doklam Plain is located at the junction of China, the State of Sikkim (in the north-eastern part of India) and the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. The area is claimed by China, which calls it Donglang, while India supports the claims of Bhutan.
For weeks the confrontation between the two countries gave rise to fear of the outbreak of a regional war, with reciprocal accusations of territorial encroachment. Peace returned when the Delhi government ordered its army to withdraw. Analysts now fear that the drone crash could reignite the latent confrontation, which dates back to 1962 with the first Sino-Indian war for border control.