Status Quo Prevails in Doklam: MEA Denies Report of Chinese Troops

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa also confirmed the presence of the troops on Thursday.

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The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday clarified that there have been no new developments at the Doklam face-off site since Indian and Chinese troops disengaged on 28 August.

Have seen recent press reports on Doklam. There are no new developments at the face-off site and its vicinity since the 28 August disengagement. The status quo prevails in the area. Any suggestion on the contrary is incorrect.
Raveesh Kumar, MEA Spokesperson

Kumar was responding to reports that around 1,000 Chinese troops are still on the plateau, though the 72-day standoff ended more than a month ago.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Referring to reports of China expanding its roads in Doklam, Gandhi took to Twitter to tell Prime Minister Narendra Modi “once you're done thumping your chest, could you please explain this?”

According to Hindustan Times, the China's People's Liberation Army had started construction of a road about 10 to 12 km from the site of the faceoff.

The Indian Express reported that while Chinese troops are still present about 800 meters from the faceoff site, India does not expect a "flashpoint". However, the presence of the troops have also reduced in number following the "disengagement" that began on 28 August.

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa also confirmed the presence of the troops on Thursday.

The Indian Army confirmed that the Chinese was constructing a road in Chumbi valley but added that the said area was under the control of Chinese and did not have an impact on India, reported Hindustan Times.

The national daily quoted a source as saying:

The same equipment and workers are being used to strengthen an existing kuccha road about 10-12 km from the last faceoff site. The area is under their control.

India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, who is on a three-day visit to Bhutan, held meetings with the Bhutanese monarch, its Prime Minister and its Foreign Minister, at a time when several reports have pointed to a recent troop buildup by the Chinese army near Doklam.

Indian and Chinese troops had been locked in an intense faceoff at the border trijunction with Bhutan since June. The trouble began when India objected to China building a road in the disputed Doklam trijunction. This concern was also echoed by the Royal Bhutanese Army.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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