No new developments at Doklam face-off site: MEA

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NEW DELHI: India on Friday said that there have been no new developments at the Doklam face-off site and its vicinity since the August 28 disengagement .
Responding to reports of fresh construction activity near Doklam, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson maintained that there was no change in the status quo in the area.



On Thursday, reports had emerged that People's Liberation Army (PLA) has started constructing a road in Chumbi valley, about 10km from the Doklam site.
"PLA was constructing a motorable road but added that the area was under Chinese control and the development did not have strategic implications for India. Around 500 soldiers are present in the area where the road construction is being carried out," army sources had said, adding, "The same equipment and workers are being used to strengthen an existing kutcha road about 10-12 km from the last faceoff site. The area is under their control."
Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Doklam since June 16 after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. Bhutan and China have a dispute over Doklam.
In Doklam, China had accused India of trespass and preventing its troops from building a road in the remote Himalayan plateau that is claimed by both China and Bhutan.
India and China had agreed to pull back troops to end the months-long Doklam face-off on August 28. The decision put a lid on one of the most serious disputes between the nuclear-armed neighbours who share a 3,500-km mountain frontier that remains undemarcated in most places. It came days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to China to attend a summit of BRICS, a grouping that also includes Brazil, Russia and South Africa. China pulled back its bulldozers and other road-constructing equipment.
The Doklam standoff between India and China along the Sikkim border was likely to be the new normal, a reputed defence think tank had warned after the standoff, making a strong case for building military capabilities as China respects strength.
In a paper titled Looking Beyond Doklam, the Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS), a think tank set up by the defence ministry a decade ago, said it is crucial for India to demonstrate strength as peace along the disputed border or Line of Actual Control (LAC) will be "constantly and continuously" under stress with "increase in frequency, intensity and depth of (Chinese) transgressions leading to more and more standoffs".
Source-Times Of India

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