India says reports of Chinese troops buildup in Doklam not accurate

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New Delhi: India said on Thursday news reports of a buildup of Chinese troops as well as construction activity on the Doklam plateau in Bhutan—the scene of a 73-day long standoff last year—were inaccurate and there’s been no change in the status quo established in August.

“Our attention has been drawn to some reports that question the accuracy of the position stated by the government in respect to the situation in Doklam,” the external affairs ministry said.

“It may be recalled that last year, a face-off situation that had arisen in the Doklam region, was resolved following diplomatic discussions between India and China, based on which both sides arrived at an understanding for the disengagement of their border personnel at the face-off site. The government would….reiterate that the status quo at the face-off site has not been altered. Any suggestion to the contrary is inaccurate and mischievous,” the statement said.

News reports on Wednesday had said there was significant construction activity seen on satellite maps in the region.

According to the Indian government, Chinese attempts to construct a road on the Doklam plateau had triggered the face-off in June.

Bhutanese troops stationed there objected to the construction but were brushed off by the Chinese troops who had brought in earth-moving equipment for road construction.

Indian troops stationed in Bhutan under a special security arrangement then intervened to stop the Chinese which sparked the prolonged tensions between India and China.

Separately, on Wednesday, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat said that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers were present in the area “although not in numbers that we saw them in initially.”

“They have carried out some infrastructure development which is mostly temporary in nature,” he said adding: “But we are also there, so in case they come, we will face them.”

“I think the bonhomie (between India and China) has returned to what was prior to Dokalam, so I don’t visualize a very serious trouble, but then one has to be prepared for it always,” Rawat said.livemint