The Hush Post: It is mid-December and for the first time around 1,800 Chinese troops can be permanently seen in the Doklam area near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet junction. The Chinese have already constructed two chopper-landing facilities, constructed roads, and temporary huts, and stores to withstand the freezing winter in the high-altitude terrain.
Indian security was instrumental in thwarting the Chinese objective in extending its road network uptil the Jampheri ridge near the Doklam plateau, though, many question the entire premise to be untrue about the success of the thwart, the fallout has been the permanent presence of People’s Liberation Army.”
The Chinese patrols only made ritualistic visits to Doklam in April-May and October-November every year to mark their presence but this time round they aren’t going back. After the more than two month long ‘I-am-watching-you’ kind of confrontation at Doklam between the two armies ended on August 28, the PLA troops have stayed put in what India considers to be the Bhutanese territory.
With Indian troops deployed in tactically dominating positions in the tri-junction, China is keen to usurp Doklam to add strategic depth to its narrow Chumbi Valley, which juts in between Sikkim and Bhutan. This mid-June PLA troops tried to disrupt the status quo by constructing a road that would have had serious security implications for Bhutan and subsequently for India.
According to the Times of India, “Indian soldiers came down the ridge slope from their Doklam post to cross into Doklam on June 18 to physically block Chinese troops from constructing the road towards Jampheri ridge, which overlooks India’s militarily vulnerable Siliguri corridor, or the so-called “Chicken’s Neck” area.”
It triggered the face-off at Doklam, leading both the countries to move forward additional infantry battalions as well as armoured, artillery, missile and air defence units to back their small number of troops on the actual stand-off site. The volatile situation was finally defused on August 28 after hectic talks with the rival troops disengaging and pulling back over 150 metres from the site. It paved the way for PM Narendra Modi to attend the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, from September 3 to 5. Many say, the diplomatic parleys were in order to create respectable conditions for the Indian premier with India-centric embedded reports claiming a sort of victory in Indian media, which many question.