China has acknowledged that the drone that was downed by the Pakistani military was of Chinese origin, effectively refuting claims by Islamabad that it had shot down an Indian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) across the Line of Control (LoC).
People’s Daily , China’s official newspaper, is reporting that the drone shot down “by Pakistani military was recognised in Beijing as the Chinese–made DJI Phantom 3”. The daily attributed its conclusion to the “Observer"-- a website based in Shanghai.
The allegations had cast its shadow on the widely expected fresh start in Indo-Pak ties following the meeting in Ufa between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif. Analysts say China, concerned about the success of its Belt and Road initiative, is subtly injecting itself in easing Indo-Pak tensions within the multilateral framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
Soon after the Ufa meeting between the two Prime Ministers, a commentary in the state-run Xinhua news agency had expressed optimism about the possibility of an improvement of Indo-Pak ties within the format of the SCO - an organisation that is pillared by China and Russia.
People’s Daily , citing “reports”, said the Phantom 3 Advanced represents the most intelligent, most powerful, and “most accessible” drone till date. “Observer says the drone sells for $1,200 each.”
DJI is a Chinese technology company founded in 2006 by Frank Wang and is headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong. It manufactures commercial and recreational unmanned aerial vehicles for aerial photography and videography, the daily said.
Earlier, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar had rejected allegations by Pakistan that it had downed an Indian drone in the Bhimber area across the LoC. “We have seen the pictures. It looks like a Chinese drone, available off the shelf. It is not of Indian design, not of any unmanned aerial vehicle category held in Indian inventory". An Indian army spokesman had also asserted that "No drone or UAV crash of the Indian Army has taken place."