1,800 Chinese Troops Staying in Doklam Area For The First Time in Winter
New Delhi, Nov 23: Months after Indian and Chinese troops disengaged after a standoff situation on the Doklam plateau of Bhutan, China has begun construction near the disputed region. China has built several tunnels and barracks near the disputed area in Doklam. A 400-metre tall wall has also been built by Chinese forces to hide the rampant construction going on in Doklam, said a Zee News report.
As many as 16 barracks have been built by China to accommodate an increased troop presence in Doklam region. Six tunnels have also been dug near the disputed area. There are more than 200 tents with advanced surveillance systems. Sources in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) told Zee News that massive construction work could be a sign of China taking a more permanent position in the area.
There had been unconfirmed reports that China had shifted its unused road construction material to the North and the East of the Doklam face-off site and was back to building a road that had earlier initiated the crisis. However, the Ministry of External Affairs refuted such reports and said that there were no new developments at the face-off site in the Doklam plateau, since the August 28 disengagement.
To counter China, India too has been ramping up the infrastructure all along the Sino-India border with the Indian Army stepping up road infrastructure. Sources told PTI that the Army headquarters ordered over 1,000 dual track mine detectors to enhance Corps of Engineers’ mine detection capability. The sources also said over 50 short span bridges and a sizeable number of assault tracks for quick movement are also being procured to increase their mobility.
India and China were locked in a 73-day-long standoff at Doklam, an area claimed by both Bhutan and China. India had intervened on Bhutan’s behalf as Chinese building activities threatened ‘Chicken’s Neck’– a narrow strip of land connecting Indian mainland to its northeastern states. The Indian Army and the China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had, on August 28, decided to disengage their troops from the disputed area.