A US lawmaker voiced concerns over China’s reported activity, which he said is a “provocative measure” if the reports are factual. The claims were made by Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, who is the first-ever Indian-American to be on the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Speaking to PTI, Mr Krishnamoorthi said China’s reported advances in the territory would echo their actions taken in the South China Sea.
He said: "If it (reports) turns out to be true, it would be yet another provocative measure by the Chinese military to change the facts on the ground.
"It would also fit the pattern of their conduct in the South China Sea, where they build islands, where they try to change the facts as we previously understood them, and they would be deeply disturbing, to say the least.”
Mr Krishnamoorthi said he relied on satellite imagery to follow China’s activity in the region.
China vs India chaos as US lawmaker blasts Beijing for 'provocative measure' amid war fear
The Democratic Congressman added that the US backs India’s position in the conflict.
He said: "I have to say that we currently in the US Congress, but also the Trump and the incoming Biden administration stand by our Indian partners and the Indo-Pacific region.”
The news comes after earlier this month satellite images revealed China seemingly built a road, and storage bunkers near to its disputed border with India as well as within Bhutanese territory.
Indian news outlet NDTV retrieved the satellite imagery captured by US satellite firm Maxar.
Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said the US backs India’s position in the conflict
The new infrastructure was built news the Doklam region of the Himalayas.
Additionally, a Chinese village was set up over a mile into Bhutan’s territory, it has been reported.
In 2017 Chinese construction workers tried to enter the Zompelri ridge by setting up a road near the Indian military post at Doklam. Back then, the Indian Army opposed the building of the road, claiming it would allow the Chinese military to see over the “Chicken’s neck” strategic region.
The Chinese military is currently believed to have constructed a road near the same key region.
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China's military power
The new road runs along the Torsa river and the border between China and Bhutan.
Speaking to NDTV, strategic affairs expert Dr Brahma Chellaney said: "The Chinese have left untouched the 2017 stand-off site, which is located in one corner of Doklam.
''But, step by step, they have been changing the status quo in the rest of Doklam, including by building permanent structures and roads.
"They have even set up villages on a plateau that was uninhabited until three years ago.''
China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops
Senior producer at China's state news outlet CGTN Shen Shiwei boasted China’s new village, named Pangda, in a tweet that included images of the reported settlement.
He wrote: “Now, we have permanent residents living in the newly established Pangda village. It’s along the valley, 35 km south to Yadong country. Here is a map to show the location”.
But Bhutan’s ambassador to India, Vetsop Namgyel, denied the existence of a Chinese village in its territory.
Mr Namgyel told daily newspaper the Hindu that “there is no Chinese village inside Bhutan”.