NDTV – October 10, 2017 20:26 IST
Satellite images show two roads from Doklam which separately lead to the town of Yatung in the Chumbi Valley, where China bases the soldiers that it uses for its operations in the high-altitude Doklam Plateau.
A 2017 image of Chinese all-weather road in the Doklam Plateau:
– Satellite images show China steadily making roads in Doklam
– Some run a few hundred metres from Indian posts like Doka La in Sikkim
High-res satellite images accessed by NDTV show that China has, over the last decade, been steadily converting tracts of land in the disputed Doklam Plateau into full-fledged all-weather roads that run a few hundred metres from Indian posts such as Doka La in Sikkim. The satellite images show two roads from Doklam which separately lead to the town of Yatung in the Chumbi Valley, where China bases the soldiers that it uses for its operations in the high-altitude Doklam Plateau.
The state-run Global Times said this week, “During the Doklam face-off, Beijing intensified efforts to develop infrastructure in the region and road construction there will be a long-term trend.”
India backs Bhutan’s claim to the Doklam Plateau, which lies North of the “Chicken’s Neck” – a narrow strip that links India to its northeastern states. Any roads in or around this area are a cause of concern for Delhi because they could give Beijing access to this strategically sensitive terrain.
The irony is that if India had settled the issue quietly, China would likely have been prepared to make diplomatic concessions on the matter of road construction.
But now that India has turned it into a big diplomatic incident, the Chinese government has no other option but to speed up road construction in Donglang.