China developing military infrastructural facilities in ‘Doklam’: Defence Minister Sitharaman

New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed the Lok Sabha that China has developed military infrastructure on a large scale including a helipad and has increased the deployment of soldiers in the area once again. Defence Minister Sitharaman also clarified that the Chinese activities in Pakistan are also closely followed and necessary steps from the security point of view are being taken.

Defence-Minister-SitaramanChina has started assembling military units around the area where the Indian and the Chinese armies had a standoff in the ‘Doklam’ region last year, said Sitharaman. Last year, both the Indian and Chinese armies had withdrawn from the area and also had reduced the numbers of the deployed soldiers. But China has once again increased the number of soldiers there. China had kept the soldiers deployed here even through the winter, said the Defence Minister.

China is building many basic military facilities like helipads, soldier bunkers and trenches in the area. While answering a question, Sitharaman told the Loksabha that China is also building security posts in the area.

Last month, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had visited Bhutan to discuss the ‘Doklam’ issue. There were claims of increased Chinese military movements in Tibet and Doklam before that. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said that the time had come to keep an eye on the Indian border adjoining China. A few days ago, the Chinese military analyst had warned that a Doklam-like situation between the two countries may be repeated and India should remain prepared for it. Defence Minister Sitharaman informed the Lok Sabha against this backdrop.

The Defence Minister was also asked a question about the reports of China establishing a military base in Pakistan. Sitharaman clarified that the Indian government is keenly watching the developments and all the necessary steps from the countries security point of view have been taken. Similarly, the government is completely aware of the Chinese movements in the Indian Ocean. Both the countries have their independent foreign policies. That is why both the countries need not worry about the relations developing with other countries, said Defence Minister Sitharaman.