China expressed ''strong dissatisfaction'' with India today after the recent crash of an Indian drone in what the Chinese military said was Chinese territory, an incident that could cause further friction along the two countries' disputed border.
''This action by India violated China's territorial sovereignty. We express strong dissatisfaction and opposition,'' said Zhang Shuili, a senior military official in China's western battle zone command, according to a Defence Ministry statement.
''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. It said only that the drone crashed in ''recent days'' and did not give a precise time or location.
The Indian UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) ''intruded'' into China's airspace and crashed, and China's border troops have conducted identification and verification over the vehicle, said Shuili, deputy head of the combat bureau of the Western Theatre Command's joint staff department.
The People's Liberation Army's western theatre command's jurisdiction includes Tibet's border region with India.
''India's move has infringed upon China's territorial sovereignty, and we are strongly dissatisfied with and opposed to this,'' Zhang has been quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
''We will fulfil our mission and responsibility and defend China's national sovereignty and security resolutely,'' he said.
There was no immediate response from the Indian defence ministry.
India and China were recently locked in a standoff in the Dokalam region after Chinese troops began constructing a road near the tri-junction with Bhutan. The 73-day-long standoff ended on 28 August after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India's Chicken Neck corridor.