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  India   All India  06 Oct 2017  China increases troops at Doklam, expands road near site of last conflict

China increases troops at Doklam, expands road near site of last conflict

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Oct 6, 2017, 9:08 am IST
Updated : Oct 6, 2017, 9:08 am IST

China has started constructing a road just 10km from the location of the last conflict.

According to sources, China has been gradually increasing its troops in the Doklam Plateau which could further escalate the current situation as India has reasons to be concerned about it. (Photo: PTI/Representational)
 According to sources, China has been gradually increasing its troops in the Doklam Plateau which could further escalate the current situation as India has reasons to be concerned about it. (Photo: PTI/Representational)

New Delhi: China has maintained a sizeable presence of its troops near the site of the Doklam standoff and has also started building a road in the area, just 10 km from the location of the last conflict.

The Doklam Plateau is claimed by both China and Bhutan as their territory. India backs Bhutan's claim.

According to sources, China has been gradually increasing its troops in the Doklam Plateau which could further escalate the current situation as India has reasons to be concerned about it.

Thwarted in its last attempt, China has now shifted its unused road construction material North and East of the standoff site.

According to a report in NDTV, the road construction workers brought into the area are accompanied by up to 500 soldiers. There is no indication that the soldiers will be permanently based in the area - the Chinese town of Yatung.

A report in The Indian Express however, said that 1,000 Chinese troops are still present on the plateau.

An indication of tension between the two countries due to the presence of Chinese forces in the Chumbi Valley in the Doklam Plateau was also given by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa on Thursday on the eve of Air Force Day.

"The two sides are not in a physical face-off as we speak. However, their forces in Chumbi Valley are still deployed and I expect them to withdraw as their exercise in the area gets over," Dhanoa told media.

There has been territorial disputes between China and Bhutan over Doklam and India has been staunchly supporting Thimphu over the issue.

Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam since June 16 after the Indian side prohibited the construction of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. Bhutan and China have a dispute over Doklam.

The standoff ended on August 28.

Days after the standoff ended, Army Chief Bipin Rawat had said China has started "flexing its muscles" and warned that the situation in India's northern border could snowball into a larger conflict.

There are also reports that People's Liberation Army (PLA) has increased more troops on its forward post in Yatung.

Sources said though Chinese troops have been deployed in Doklam Plateau, they leave the area during winters.

But, there were indications that they may leave the area this time, they added.

(With inputs from agencies)

Tags: doklam standoff, chinese troops, indian army chief general bipin rawat
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi