Update at 11:08 am: Bhutan's Ambassador to India has clarified that there is no Chinese village inside Bhutan
There is no Chinese village inside Bhutan: Bhutan Ambassador to India, to ANI on a report that China has set up a village inside Bhutan, 9 kilometers from Doklam face-off site— ANI (@ANI) November 20, 2020
A Chinese state-run media stooge has claimed with pictures that China has established a village 2 km within Bhutan's territory very close to Doklam -- the place where Indian and Chinese forces clashed in 2017. The senior journalist who brought this to light posted images of the village on his Twitter handle on Thursday before suspiciously deleting them.
Shen Shiwei, CGTN News Producer, posted the now-deleted images and wrote, "We have permanent residents living in the newly established Pangda village. It is along the valley where 35 km south to Yadong county." He also shared a map to show the precise location of the settlement.
Nathan Ruser, a researcher who works with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's (ASPI)International Cyber Policy Centre, said that this Pangda village has been constructed 2.5 km beyond Bhutan's international border.
Here's a CGTN news producer openly admiting that China has occupied and now populated part of a sovereign country. This Pangda village has been constructed (as shown by the included map) ~2.5km beyond Bhutan's international border. China now baselessly claims about 12% of Bhutan. https://t.co/3TxNSffYdJ pic.twitter.com/fEAgWXk7Ln— Nathan Ruser (@Nrg8000) November 19, 2020
If you look at the map Shen shares, he cheekily crops so that it doesn't show the settlement he's talking about is across the Bhutanese border. Second picture shows the border. pic.twitter.com/uRdp4QaIad— Nathan Ruser (@Nrg8000) November 19, 2020
The most bizzare of these claims is a wildlife sanctuary 27km away from any Chinese controlled territory, and that they suddenly claimed without warning in July this year. https://t.co/DMFi2Mh4t2 pic.twitter.com/rcHM5P1tqX— Nathan Ruser (@Nrg8000) November 19, 2020
Earlier, China made fresh claims at Bhutanese territory at the 58th Global Environment Facility Council where the Chinese member raised objections to the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary project and argued that it was in a "disputed area" between Beijing and Thimphu. Sakteng lies in a zone of Bhutan that borders Arunachal Pradesh and not China. Bhutan had urged the GEF to purge all references to China’s baseless claims from the council’s documents. The GEF also rejected the Chinese claim and approved the project for funding.
Bhutan had also conveyed its position to China through its embassy in New Delhi — since both countries don’t have embassies in each other’s countries and conduct their diplomatic communication through their missions in Delhi.
Meanwhile, India on Thursday said it will continue dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels with China on the border standoff in eastern Ladakh and that both sides have agreed to hold another round of talks soon. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava while referring to the ongoing military talks between the two countries also rejected as “baseless" a report in a British daily ‘The Times’, which quoted a Chinese professor to claim that the Chinese PLA had used “microwave weapons” to force Indian soldiers to leave positions in eastern Ladakh.
Nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions as multiple rounds of talks between the two sides have not yielded any concrete outcome yet to resolve the military standoff that erupted in early May. China has also deployed an equal number of troops, according to officials.