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China Masses Troops on Border as India Plans to Develop Contested Province

Andy Wong/AP
Andy Wong/AP

India Today reported on Tuesday a troubling surge of Chinese troops to the Doklam region, where a deadly hand-to-hand battle was fought between Indian and Chinese troops in 2017.

The Indian military is concerned that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has effectively built a small city for its armed forces in the Amo Chu river valley, setting up another attempt to seize the Doklam plateau.

Meanwhile, China is growing increasingly belligerent against Indian efforts to develop its Arunachal Pradesh border province, which China claims under the name “Zangnan” as a southern district of occupied Tibet.

The PLA has not given up on Doklam, despite reaching deconfliction agreements with India after several border brawls. Both sides have traditionally kept their border guards unarmed to avoid military escalation, so skirmishes are fought with bare hands and improvised weapons, with a considerable number of serious and fatal injuries.

India Today published photos that depicted a large, permanent PLA military camp in the Amo Chu valley, featuring dozens of sizable barracks buildings. Also troubling to India are recent statements by its regional security partner, Bhutan, that suggested the Chinese have reasonable claims to parts of the Doklam plateau, and the Bhutanese might be losing their enthusiasm for holding the PLA at bay.

Related Story: India Ramps up Troop Presence at Disputed Border to ‘Unprecedented’ Levels After Clashes with Chinese Forces

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