China Sets Up Village Within Bhutan, 9 Km From Doklam Face-Off Site

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The Chinese village of Pangda lies 2 kilometres within Bhutanese territory, its state media suggested.

New Delhi:

China has established a village 2 km within Bhutan’s territory, very close to Doklam where the Chinese and Indian militaries had a tense standoff in 2017, images posted by a senior journalist with the Chinese state media showed on Thursday.

In tweets that have since been deleted, Shen Shiwei, a senior producer with Chinese CGTN News, posted the images this morning of the village established in what he said was the Doklam area and later indicated the precise location of the settlement.

The Chinese village of Pangda lies 2 kilometres within Bhutanese territory and is an indicator of what India has always feared – “salami slicing” by the Chinese which refers to Beijing attempts to cut into Indian and Bhutanese territory.

The move is particularly worrying for India since it is responsible for the territorial integrity of Bhutan which mains a limited armed force.

NDTV has reached out to the government of Bhutan to ask if they have allowed China to populate areas within its territory.

The Doklam standoff had been the most serious face-off in decades between India and China before the confrontation in eastern Ladakh that began earlier this year and peaked in June with a clash that left 20 Indian soldiers dead and an unspecified number of Chinese casualties.

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Since then, the nuclear-armed countries have sent in tens of thousands of troops on the rugged frontier between Ladakh and the Chinese-held Tibetan plateau, raising the risk of further confrontation even while looking for ways to de-escalate.

Last week, government sources told NDTV that India and China have readied a three-phase plan for disengagement, however, there is no signature or agreement on the plan’s implementation yet. No time period has been agreed upon within which to implement the plan; neither is the extent to which it will happen decided between the two sides.

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