The Congress has attacked the government over China allegedly building a settlement in Bhutan. Reacting to reports, the Congress said China building a settlement inside Bhutanese territory -- located just 9 km from Doklam -- adds another threat to the Siliguri corridor, which if taken over can isolate North-East India from the mainland. The government's silence is enabling Chinese aggression, it added.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, party leader Pawan Khera said, "Over the past few days, certain satellite images accessed of the Doklam region have raised concerns in the minds of every patriotic Indian. Only our government is the one who is least bothered by this."
The Congress alleged that these images have revealed that the Chinese have built a small village or settlement inside Bhutanese territory and merely 10 km away from the 2017 Doklam clash site. In addition to this, a 9 km long road has also been built.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too questioned the government, "Does the government have a multi-pronged strategy to deal with this challenge? China's geopolitical strategy cannot be countered by a PR driven media strategy. This simple fact seems to elude the minds of those running GOI," he said.
The Congress said the implications of these developments in the region are multifaceted. According to the party, first is the clear failure of the Central government to stop the Chinese from undertaking such complex construction work near the disputed site. The second is how the Chinese have essentially changed the status quo in the Doklam region and have reaffirmed their false territorial claims through muscle power.
In 2017 when the Chinese attempted to access Zompelri ridge and were stopped by Indian soldiers a standoff took place. After an agreement to de-escalate between the two countries, it was decided that both the armies will pull back from the disputed site and create a buffer zone. The Indian army pulled back from the area, but now it is abundantly clear that the Chinese did not stick to their part of the deal.