Millennium Post

China violated Indian airspace in March: Antony

The government today said China intruded twice into the Indian airspace last month when its helicopters were found flying over territories of Himachal Pradesh.

'There was an incident of air violation on 16 March when two Chinese helicopters were observed flying on Indian side of international border in Himachal Pradesh,' Defence Minister A K Antony told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

Another such incident took place on March 19, he said.

Antony said the incidents of transgression and intrusion were duly taken up with the Chinese side through established mechanism and diplomatic channels.

'Incidents of transgressions or intrusions are taken up with the Chinese side through established mechanisms such as hot lines, flag meetings, border personnel meetings and normal diplomatic channels,' Antony said, adding that these mechanisms facilitate maintenance of peace.

In reply to a question on weapon import by India vis-a-vis China, the minister said India has become the largest weapon importer.

'As per report of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in March 2012, India has become the largest importer of arms during 2007-2011 and accounted for 10 per cent of the global arms imports as compared to China's share of five per cent,' he said.

Tabling a report on year-wise expenditure on foreign procurement of arms, he said Rs 10,166.08 crore was spent in 2007-08, which rose up to Rs 13,411.91 crore in 2009-10.

During 2010-11, the expenditure touched Rs 15,443.01-crore mark.
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