More reports on: Indian Army

China resumes road building near Doklam, but away from standoff site

06 October 2017

A little over a month after India and China ended a border confrontation at Doklam near Sikkim, the People's Liberation Army has begun constructing a road about 10 to 12 km from the site where the two armies were locked in a 73-day standoff.

Reports citing Army sources confirmed that the PLA was constructing a road in Chumbi Valley but added that the area was under Chinese control and the development did not have strategic implications for India. Around 500 soldiers are guarding the area where the road construction is being carried out.

India has not objected the construction as it is not southwards towards the militarily-sensitive Jampheri Ridge area like last time.

The bulldozers and other material that were used last time have been shifted to the new site by China.

An indication of tension between the two countries due to presence of Chinese forces in the Chumbi Valley in the Dokalam Plateau was also given by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa in New Delhi on Thursday.

Addressing media during the annual press conference of the Indian Air Force in New Delhi, the Indian Air Force chief said despite Doklam resolution Beijing has still not withdrawn the forces from ground completely. ''We expect them withdraw,'' Dhanoa said.

In Doklam, China had accused India of trespass and preventing its troops from building a road in the remote Himalayan plateau that is claimed by both China and Bhutan. Doklam is a trijunction point on the borders of India, China and Bhutan. Under a treaty with Bhutan, India is responsible for its defence.

Foreign secretary S Jaishankar on Tuesday held wide ranging talks with senior Bhutanese officials in Thimphu, though it is not clear if the fresh Chinese construction activity figured in the talks.

Jaishankar's trip to Thimphu is the first visit by a top Indian official to Bhutan since the Doklam standoff ended on 28 August. The foreign secretary is accompanied by top Indian government officials.

India and China had agreed to put a lid on one of the most serious disputes between the nuclear-armed neighbours who share a 3,500-km mountain frontier, which remains undemarcated in most places, days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to China to attend a summit of BRICS, a grouping that also includes Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

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