Doklam: China has maintained a sizable presence of its troops near the site of the Doklam standoff with India and even started widening an existing road which is at a distance of around 12km from the area of conflict, reports in Indian newspaper Times of India said.
China has been slowly increasing its troop level in the Doklam Plateau which could further escalate the current situation as India has reasons to be concerned over it, said people in the know of the matter.
They said an existing road is also being strengthened in the Doklam plateau, adding the road is at a distance of around 12km from the earlier face-off site.
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 Air Chief Marshal B. S. Dhanoa on Thursday.
“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 reporters.
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-long standoff in Doklam since 16 June after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. Bhutan and China have a dispute over Doklam.
Bhutan and India were in touch with each other during the course of the face-off that ended on 28 August.
Days after the face-off 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 indication that they may leave the areas this time, they added.