New Delhi, July 27: Doklam is back in the news and a top official in the US said that neither Bhutan nor India have sought to dissuade China. The official claimed that China had resumed construction activity in the disputed Doklam area.
Minister of State for External Affairs Ministry V K Singh told Rajya Sabha that there have been no new developments at the site of the face-off with China in Doklam and its vicinity, and status quo prevails in the area.
"Since the disengagement of Indian and Chinese border personnel in the Doklam area on August 28, 2017, there have been no new developments at the faceoff site and its vicinity. The status quo prevails in this area," Singh said in a written reply to a question on whether China has constructed new roads in the southern part of the Doklam Plateau.
The question now is what really are the Chinese doing at Doklam. China currently is indulging in the construction of a road to connect Doklam to the rest of its networks. The Chinese are said to be constructing a 12 kilometre road between Doklam and Yatung, which is a military base.
The information was received after a few vehicles were spotted at the site. There are tents that have been set up in the area apart from some sheds. While India has rubbished these claims, the information is still being ascertained. If we find there is any activity of this nature, which is opposed to the agreement, then the issue will be taken up, an official said.
"I would assess that India is vigorously defending its northern borders and this is a subject of concern to India," Alice G Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing while responding to a question on China's increased road building activities along the Indian border.
"As (India) ahead to its own strategic stability, it certainly helps drive and is a factor in driving closer partnership that we enjoy with India," Wells said in response to a question from Congresswoman Ann Wagner.
India and China have clashed repeatedly over territories in the Himalayas. Most recently Chinese and Indian troops faced off on the disputed Doklam plateau between Bhutan and China after the Chinese People's Liberation Army began building roads through the area, Wagner said.
"Although both countries back down, China has quietly resumed its activities in Doklam and neither Bhutan nor India has sought to dissuade it. China's activities in the Himalayas remind me of its south China Sea policies. How should our failure to respond to the militarisation of the South China Sea inform the international response to these Himalayan border disputes?" Wagner asked.