Bhutan turns away from China
Reports showing the construction of a Chinese village inside sovereign Bhutanese territory is incorrect, the envoy of Bhutan has told The Hindu. The statement from Ambassador Vetsop Namgyel came a day after sections of the Indian media reported the presence of a Chinese-built village approximately 2 km inside the Bhutanese border.
“There is no Chinese village inside Bhutan. Satellite images show some settlements near the standoff point (Doklam). The village is not on the Bhutanese side,” said Ambassador Namgyel, emphasising that the settlement is near the site of 2017 confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops on the Doklam plateau. The military confrontation, which was triggered by detection of Chinese construction near the India-Bhutan-China trijunction, lasted for approximately 70 days but the details of the ultimate withdrawal of the Chinese troops and heavy machinery remained sketchy.
Private news broadcaster NDTV had reported on Thursday that the Chinese have built a residential area and named it “Pangda village”.
The settlement consists of a neat housing locality, clean roads and other amenities next to a stream. The presence of the Chinese village is the first time since 2017 that a Chinese residential area has been noticed near the Doklam region which is strategically important for India.