Ground Report | New Delhi: China builds illegal villages; China is building villages in the disputed Bhutan region, which are less than 30 km from the Doklam plateau. The revelation comes after high-resolution satellite images surfaced from security installations.
China builds illegal villages
According to NDTV, the revelation came after high-resolution satellite imagery surfaced with security installations. These are located less than 30 km from the Doklam plateau, where India and China had a tense standoff in 2017 when Indian troops physically blocked Chinese road construction activity.
It is not clear, at this stage, where these settlements are for deploying military forces or for civilian purposes, NDTV reported.
The Doklam plateau was in the news in 2017 when the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were locked in a bitter standoff for more than 70 days. The Chinese eventually had to retreat from the area after Indian troops had fought off the plateau.
Sources said Chinese villages within the disputed territory in Bhutan are likely to be used for both military and civilian purposes. New satellite images of more than 200 structures, including two-story buildings under construction at six locations in Bhutan.
New construction and satellite imagery
Citing experts who studied the sites of the new construction and recent images taken by satellite imagery firm Capella Space, the report said that all six settlements “appear to be in territory disputed by China and Bhutan – which includes approximately covers a disputed area of 110 square kilometers – very little in the way of resources or native population”.
Doklam is an area of 100 sq km consisting of a plateau and a valley at the trijunction between India, China, and Bhutan. The plateau is surrounded by the Chumbi Valley of Tibet, the Ha Valley of Bhutan, and the Sikkim of India.
In 2017, China was doing infrastructural development work in Doklam, to which India had objected. China then claimed that there is a border dispute between Bhutan and China and on which India has no claim. However, India denied this and stood its ground for 73 days, equaling the deployment of Chinese troops.
China started the standoff saying it was building a road on its territory. This was opposed by India, which said that the Chinese road construction site was Bhutanese territory.
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