Even as it has earlier been said that China's People's Liberation Army has once again started expanding roads at the Indo-China border in Doklam – about 10 kilometers from the previous site – Bhutan too has now spoken about the Chinese Army's activities in the region.
In tune, the kingdom has taken up the matter with the Chinese mission in New Delhi. Bhutan ambassador to India Vetsop Namgyel met Luo Zhaohui, his Chinese counterpart, and spoke about the presence of the PLA at the plateau and the activities it has been carrying out, reported the Times of India.
Even though the Doklam standoff was resolved on August 28, with the Indian and Chinese troops mutually withdrawing from the border, the presence of PLA of late has made quite some news and it looks like things in the region haven't really settled down. Beijing has been upgrading and widening the existing routes in the region, but considering the area is not too close to the Indian border, New Delhi hasn't raised an objection to it yet.
"The PLA is now using the construction material and bulldozers it had brought to the face-off site at Doklam to improve the road it built in the region some years ago," a source told the Times of India.
"China is reinforcing its claim on the Doklam territory (India backs Bhutan's claim on it) by upgrading the road around 10-km north and east of the earlier face-off site. The PLA has been controlling the road for some years and regularly sends patrols to the area."
Numerous reports have also cited satellite imagery and confirmed that Beijing is indeed building a road in the region.
It has also been said that the number of Chinese troops seems to be gradually increasing at the Doklam plateau, due to which India too may need to boost its presence in the region. "Both the armies continue to be on high operational alert," another source told TOI.
However, the army build-up may see a decline soon as the personnel will have to withdraw to lower-lying regions once it is winter and gets colder. We have to watch-and-wait," he said.
Earlier, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa too had admitted that the Chinese soldiers were present near the Chumbi valley. It was also being said that a Chinese division of more than 12,000 soldiers, 150 tanks and artillery guns were moved to the region. Not just that, the PLA has also not removed the tents and construction equipment from the region.
While Bhutan too has expressed its concerns over China delaying the next round of negotiations to discuss the disputed China-Bhutan boundary, India had refuted the claims of PLA buildup in the region and said that there was nothing alarming taking place there.
It said there were "no new developments" at the "face-off site and its vicinity."
"We have seen recent reports on Doklam. There are no new developments at the face-off site and its vicinity since the August 28 disengagement. The status quo prevails in this area. Any suggestion to the contrary is incorrect," said Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.
Additionally, other sources told the Indian Express that there were no concerns at the Indo-China border and that China was sticking to its side, but stated that the Indian side is keeping an eye on the activities. "We are not downplaying their presence, but till the time there is no change in the status quo...there is no reason to be alarmed at the presence of troops on the Chinese side."