New Delhi: The government on Wednesday 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 March 16 when two Chinese helicopters were observed flying on Indian side of international border in Himachal Pradesh," Defence Minister AK 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 percent of the global arms imports as compared to China's share of five percent," 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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