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More than three months after a bitter border dispute over Doklam plateau in the India-Bhutan-China 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 Doklam 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 China 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, PLA patrols would come to Doklam every year to mark their presence and lay claim to the area before going back.
According to official accounts, both China and India in the past used to withdraw troops from the advanced regions of that area during the winter which is harsh.Doklam confrontation between India and China ended on August 28. Doklam belongs to us, claims China On December 1, Chinese military had hinted at maintaining sizable presence of its troops near the area of Doklam 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 PLA 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 Doklam 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-China Border Affairs (WMCC) talks between India and China here on November 17, officials said the meeting reviewed the situation in all sectors of India- China 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 China would continue with its efforts to nibble away disputed territories through "salami slicing", muscle-flexing and other measures.