By India.com, published by Microsoft New
New Delhi: After information surfaced on Friday morning China has occupied a part of Bhutan by setting up a village few kilometres within its territory, Bhutan has now denied the reports.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Bhutan Ambassador to India said, “There is no Chinese village inside Bhutan.”
According to a report by NDTV, the village is close to Doklam, which saw a military border standoff between the armies of India and China in 2017.
If the report is to believed, a senior journalist with Chinese state media had posted the images of the village on Thursday while giving out its exact location, but, later deleted it.
This comes amid the ongoing tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh and reports of Chinese incursion in India.
The development, notably, comes nearly three years after the world’s two most populous countries – India and China – found themselves on the brink of a military confrontation over the Doklam plateau issue, in August 2017.
India and China were locked in a 73-day-long standoff at Doklam, an area claimed by both Bhutan and China. India had intervened on Bhutan’s behalf as Chinese building activities threatened “Chicken’s Neck” – a narrow strip of land connecting Indian mainland to its northeastern states.
The Indian Army and the China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had, on August 28, decided to disengage their troops from the disputed area.
The two countries have earlier also fought a war, in 1962, in which China resoundingly defeated India.
On Thursday, Shen Shiwei, a senior producer with CGTN, China’s state-sponsored media, showcased several images of the village which features a road and chalets by the side of a river and tweeted, “Now, we have permanent residents living in the newly established Pangda village. It’s along the valley, 35 km south to Yadong country. Here is a map to show the location,” Ndtv.com reported
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.”
Top: A Chinese outpost in the Himalayans. File photo: PTI/ Kritika Bansal/ India.com News Desk and published by msn.com