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Drone crash shows India still behaving recklessly

China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-08 08:51

China's military voiced strong indignation on Thursday to the recent crash of an Indian unmanned aerial vehicle on the Chinese side of the border where there was a standoff between Chinese and Indian troops in the summer that lasted for more than two months. No further details have been given about the UAV or when it crashed, but as well as operating domestically developed drones, India agreed to buy state-of-the-art combat drones from Israel in the summer, having already deployed Israeli surveillance drones along the border.

Although India claims it was an accident and control of the drone was lost when it was conducting a regular training mission, its latest move constitutes an infringement on China's territory and is not conducive to maintaining peace and tranquility in the border area.

Since the Indian side withdrew its troops and equipment from Donglang in August, there have been no major skirmishes along the border area or in bilateral ties. However, India appears willing to squander the two sides' efforts to maintain good neighborly ties, as it seems it still wants to test China's bottom line.

As well as sending drones across the border, the Indian army is apparently trying to enhance infrastructure facilities along the border area, including building roads and assault tracks. And last month, two senior Indian officials visited a disputed border area.

Such moves go against the spirit of peacefully settling the border issues and threaten to compromise the hard-won peaceful status quo.

It seems it will take time for some Indians to adopt a rational appreciation of China-India interaction, which features both competition and cooperation. As the two fastest-growing major economies in the world, it serves the interests of both to have friendly relations.

At present, some Indians may not be able to fathom the importance of China-Indian cooperation as the desire to compete and outstrip China has made them lose the ability to be objective. Yet they should avoid falling prey to any bandwagon effect stemming from Washington's adoption of the term Indo-Pacific, as the only thing that signifies is the US wants to rope India into its games, whose sole purpose is to maintain the US' primacy in the region.

New Delhi will only serve as a pawn in the US strategic maneuvering in the region.

As a Chinese saying wisely puts it, a faraway relative is not as helpful as a close neighbor. It is high time New Delhi changed its mind and worked with Beijing to deepen reciprocal cooperation and build good neighborly relations.

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