Bhutan today denied reports that China has constructed a village more than 2 kilometres inside Bhutanese territory near the contested Doklam plateau, despite clear satellite imagery and detailed map locations to the contrary.
Maps bearing the official seal of the Bhutan government, also indicate that this new Chinese settlement lies well within Bhutan’s present claim lines.
International observers, including Nathan Ruser, a satellite imagery analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, responded to Shen’s tweets by highlighting that the location of the Chinese village indicated a clear breach of Bhutan’s sovereignty.
“Here’s a CGTN news producer openly admitting that China has occupied and now populated part of a sovereign country,” tweeted Mr Ruser. “This Pangda village has been constructed (as shown by the included map) 2.5 km beyond Bhutan’s international border. China now baselessly claims about 12 per cent of Bhutan,” Mr Ruser said.
Responding to this morning’s denial by Bhutan, Mr Ruser tweeted: “Weird statement considering there’s satellite imagery and extensive photos from the ground of this village inside Bhutan, 9 kilometres from the Doklam face-off site. Seems like a blatant untruth to me.”
Other international observers, including Detresfa, who works extensively on Chinese developments across the Sino-Indian border region, have independently tweeted the exact map location of Pangda village. Satellite imagery of the location precisely matches images of the now-completed village that have been shared on social media in China.