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1,800 PLA troops, 2 helipads: Hint of China's 'salami slicing' on Doklam

Chinese troops have constructed two helipads, upgraded roads, scores of pre-fabricated huts, shelters and stores

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

China, Doklam standoff,
Doklam standoff

More than three months after a bitter border dispute over plateau in the India-Bhutan-tri-junction area, reports of the presence of Beijing troops in the region have emerged. In the freezing winter, around 1,800 Chinese troops have now virtually established a permanent presence in the area, near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction. According to Times of India, Chinese troops have constructed two helipads, upgraded roads, scores of pre-fabricated huts, shelters and stores. According to the report, while India has "achieved its strategic objective" of not letting extend its existing road in Doklam, the fallout has been "the almost permanent stationing of People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops in the region". Earlier, patrols would come to every year to mark their presence and lay claim to the area before going back.

According to official accounts, both and India in the past used to withdraw troops from the advanced regions of that area during the winter which is harsh. confrontation between India and ended on August 28. belongs to us, claims China On December 1, Chinese military had hinted at maintaining sizable presence of its troops near the area of standoff during winter, asserting that the region is in Chinese territory. "Donglong (Doklam) is Chinese territory," Col Wu Qian, spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Defence said when asked about reports that continues to maintain a sizable number of troops close to the Dokalam standoff area and doing away with the practice of vacating the place during winter. "Based on this principle we will decide on the deployment of troops on our own," he said without elaborating. The continued presence of Chinese troops near Yatung close to reportedly prompted India too to maintain its troops there. While it is not clear whether the issue figured in the 10th round of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-Border Affairs (WMCC) talks between India and here on November 17, officials said the meeting reviewed the situation in all sectors of India- border and exchanged views on enhancing Confidence Building Measures (CBMS) and military contacts. China's muscle-flexing measures This is in line with what the Army chief, General Bipin Rawat, meant when he warned in September that would continue with its efforts to nibble away disputed territories through "salami slicing", muscle-flexing and other measures.

First Published: Mon, December 11 2017. 09:21 IST