The reported construction of the new Chinese village of Pangda and a nearby road was first highlighted by a Chinese state media journalist in a tweet last week that was later deleted. Satellite data experts now say that the new road runs very close to the tri-junction of Bhutan, India, and China.
A top Indian official who was closely involved in negotiating the 2017 Doklam standoff between New Delhi and Beijing has warned that the upcoming Chinese road on the Doklam Plateau will enable the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to reach the Siliguri foothills and threaten India’s “chicken-neck” corridor.
“Only solution is if we, as India, are able to create new JCPs (Joint Check Posts) to block this road construction progression towards the Siliguri plains. The JCP will be led by Indian Army troops in Bhutan under an agreement”, the official reckoned.
He complained that even though New Delhi has been able to convince Thimpu about the need for setting up a joint border outpost on the Doklam Plateau during the two-month long crisis in 2017, “little has been done” since.
The Indian official expressed concern that reports of a new Chinese village near the Doklam Plateau and those of a new Chinese road on what is official Bhutanese territory could be “linked to a larger boundary agreement between China and Bhutan”.
“The Chinese seem to be bargaining for Doklam vis-a-vis a northern disputed portion in Bhutan. Bhutan also perceives the…