Indian Army personnel stopped China’s People’s Liberation Army soldiers from building a road in western Bhutan because it would have “serious security implications” for India, New Delhi said on Friday.
India also said that its soldiers had approached the PLA’s construction personnel and “urged them” to stop building the road at Doklam Plateau in western Bhutan only after consultations with the Royal Government of Bhutan.
Earlier this week, Beijing had said that Indian Army personnel had trespassed into Chinese territory and stopped the PLA from constructing the road.
New Delhi on Friday ended its silence on the 15-day-long face-off between the army and the PLA at the tri-junction point at the boundary of India, China and Bhutan. India said that China’s move to build the road and thus to unilaterally change the status quo in the area was in violation of a 2012 bilateral understanding.
“India is deeply concerned with the recent Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese government that such construction would represent a significant change of status quo, with serious security implications for India,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement issued in New Delhi.
The face-off started on June 16 when the PLA entered the Doklam Plateau with heavy-construction equipment to build a motorable road. The Royal Bhutan Army had some soldiers posted at a camp at the nearby Zompelri.
They first sought to dissuade the PLA personnel, arguing that the area was a subject of dispute between China and Bhutan and that the status quo should not be changed.
The PLA personnel, who were much more in number, brushed off the Bhutanese Army soldiers and sought to continue the construction works.
It was then that the Indian Army soldiers from nearby Doka La camp went to the scene and stopped the PLA from constructing the road.