Amid the India-China border standoff in eastern Ladakh, China has established a village 2km within Bhutan’s territory, very close to Doklam, where India and China militaries were engaged in a tense standoff in 2017.
The images of the village Pangda were shared on Twitter by China’s state media CGTN News producer Shen Shiwei. The post was deleted later but the screenshot was shared by a user.
“Now, we have permanent residents living in the newly established Pangda village. It’s along the valley where 35 km south to Yadong county. Here is a map to show the location,” Shiwei wrote with four pictures on Thursday (November 19).
Reacting to the post, a user wrote, “Here’s a CGTN news producer openly admiting that China has occupied and now populated part of a sovereign country. This Pangda village has been constructed (as shown by the included map) ~2.5km beyond Bhutan’s international border. China now baselessly claims about 12% of Bhutan (sic).”
— Nathan Ruser (@Nrg8000) November 19, 2020
“If you look at the map Shen shares, he cheekily crops so that it doesn’t show the settlement he’s talking about is across the Bhutanese border. Second picture shows the border,” the user added.
China establishing a village in Bhutan is an indicator of what Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat had mentioned back in 2017, “salami slicing”.
“As far as northern adversary is concerned, the flexing of muscle has started. The salami slicing, taking over territory in a very gradual manner, testing our limits of threshold is something we have to be wary about and remain prepared for situations emerging which could gradually emerge into conflict,” Gen Rawat had said.
Recently, the Indian Army set up habitat facilities for the soldiers in eastern Ladakh as the standoff with China continued.
“Before the onset of snowfall, we have completed establishment of habitat facilities for all troops deployed in Eastern Ladakh. Apart from smart camps with integrated facilities built over the years, additional state of the art habitat with integrated arrangements for electricity, water, heating facilities, health and hygiene have been recently created to accommodate the troops,” a defence official said.