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India TV Exclusive: Satellite images show China building helipads, sentry posts in Doklam area

Replying to a question on the issue in Rajya Sabha, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that troops of both sides have redeployed themselves away from their respective positions at the face-off site.

Reported by: India TV News Desk, Beijing [ Updated: March 06, 2018 8:48 IST ]
Satellite images show China building helipads, sentry posts
Satellite images show China building helipads, sentry posts in Doklam area.

Satellite images accessed by India TV show that China has undertaken construction of seven helipads, sentry posts, trenches for its army personnel in the disputed Doklam where Indian and Chinese were locked in a 73-day-long standoff from June 16 last year after India stopped construction of a road in the disputed tri-junction by the Chinese army.

Replying to a question on the issue in Rajya Sabha, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that troops of both sides have redeployed themselves away from their respective positions at the face-off site. "Post disengagement from the face-off in 2017, troops of both sides have redeployed themselves away from their respective positions at the face-off site. The strength of both sides have been reduced," she said.

"In order to maintain these troops during the winter, People's Liberation Army (PLA) has undertaken construction of some infrastructure, including sentry posts, trenches and helipads," she said. 

Sources have even revealed that China has been keeping its troops in north Doklam and significantly ramping up its infrastructure in the disputed area. 

Earlier, junior Defence Minister Subhash Bhamre had said that the situation along India's border with China is "sensitive" and it has the potential to escalate.

CHINA AIMS AT MAKING WORLD'S LARGEST ARMY A MIGHTIER FORCE

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in his annual report to the National People's Congress (NPC) said China has slashed three lakh troops, reducing the size of its 2.3-million People's Liberation Army (PLA) to just two-million-strong force, a move aimed at making the world's largest army a mightier force capable of winning modern wars. 

The PLA Daily, official newspaper of the Chinese military, said non-battle personnel were downsized. The PLA which was 4.5-million strong till 1980 was first resized to three million in 1985 and later to 2.3 million. 

It also announced last year that it would reduce its grounds troops to less than a million as part of Chinese military modernisation under which the navy has been given greater role to expand China's global influence.

WATCH VIDEO | China building helipads, sentry posts and trenches in Doklam area: Nirmala Sitharaman

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