Exclusive: Chinese troops near Doklam plateau, satellite images show

New Delhi: The bitter two-month military face-off between India and China in Doklam was resolved peacefully on 28 August, after New Delhi and Beijing announced that they had agreed to withdraw their troops from the disputed tri-junction area.

But exclusive satellite images accessed by ThePrint show that there is continued unease in the region, and the military situation has not normalised as a significant Chinese troop build-up continues close to the contested point on the Doklam plateau. These units have heavy and lethal equipment not noted in the past in this region.

Although the plateau itself is not contested as it was during the stand-off, the build-up gives the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) the ability to quickly escalate matters at a time of its choosing.

Sources in the Indian government told ThePrint that New Delhi was closely monitoring the developments, but added that there is no cause for alarm.

The satellite images accessed by ThePrint show the PLA had a brigade-plus strength deployed in Yadong County, within two hours striking distance of the Doklam flashpoint by vehicles even in September, after both sides had agreed to withdraw.

Satellite imagery of 6 September shows a brigade strength of troops (approximately​ 2,000-3,000 soldiers) deployed north of Yadong town. These are not routine deployments as older satellite images of the same area do not show PLA presence here in the past.

SOURCE: The Print


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