New satellite images expose China’s latest land grabbing attempts in Bhutan: 4 new villages in one year
China has purportedly built four new villages in Bhutan’s territory in the last one year, new satellite images have revealed.
It is being claimed that the villages were constructed between May 2020 and November 2021.
The images tweeted by a leading satellite imagery expert showed multiple villages being constructed over an area of 100 square kilometres in the disputed land near the Doklam plateau, which lies at a tri-junction between China, India and Bhutan.
It was in Doklam plateau where India and China had a face-off in 2017 over Beijing’s attempt to extend a road towards the south of the plateau into Bhutan’s territory.
The latest images lend credence to the concerns raised by US and other countries over China’s aggrandisement policy along its neighbours’ borders and employing strong-arm tactics to usurp their territories.
The move is particularly alarming for India as it is responsible for the territorial integrity of Bhutan, which maintains a limited armed force. Historically, India has been advising Bhutan on its foreign policy and continues to train its armed forces.
Bhutan has been facing constant pressure from China to renegotiate the land boundaries.
Apart from the Doklam plateau, China also claims Sakteng wildlife sanctuary, which falls in Eastern Bhutan, as part of its territory, even though no such claims were raised in the past by the top leadership in Beijing.
In July last year, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin indicated that unless the land between Bhutan and China is demarcated, more such disputes would arise.