‘Stand up for friends’, Cong slams Centre over reports of Chinese construction in Bhutan


New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday slammed the Centre over reports of China constructing villages in disputed Bhutan territory, which is less than 30 km from the trijunction Doklam plateau.

The former Congress President alleged that the government has already surrendered its land, but it is not standing for ‘friends’ like Bhutan.

As per reports, China is constructing villages in a disputed territory in Bhutan, which is less than 30 km from the trijunction Doklam plateau. The revelation came after high-resolution satellite imagery surfaced with the security establishments.

“(The) Modi government first surrendered our land and has now jeopardised our close neighbours by its inaction in pushing back China. If you don’t stand up for yourself, how will you stand up for your friends,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Sources said the Chinese villages within the disputed territory in Bhutan are likely to be used for both military and civilian purposes.

Doklam plateau was in limelight in 2017 when the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were locked in a bitter standoff for over 70 days. The Chinese had to finally retreat from the area after the Indian troops contested the plateau.

Dhoklam is an area of 100 sq km comprising a plateau and a valley at the trijunction between India, China and Bhutan. The plateau is circled by the Chumbi Valley in Tibet, Bhutan’s Ha Valley and India’s Sikkim.

In October last year, China and Bhutan had signed a pact on a three-step roadmap to resolve their boundary disputes. India in its response had said, “It has noted the development.”

Boundary negotiations between Bhutan and China began in 1984 and the two sides have held 24 rounds of talks and 10 rounds of meeting at the expert group level.



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