National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 05 March 2018
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Rajya Sabha said that the Chinese PLA has built sentry posts, trenches and helipads in Doklam during long hauls in winters. She was replying to the following question:
CHINESE MILITARY DEPLOYMENT IN DOKLAM
Will the Minister of DEFENCE be pleased to state: (a) whether it is a fact that satellite images have revealed that China has constructed seven helipads in Doklam and tanks and missiles have been stationed there; (b) whether China can use them against India; (c) if so, Government’s reaction thereto; and (d) whether Government has held talks with the Chinese Government regarding this and the outcome thereof?
ANSWER MINISTER OF DEFENCE SHRIMATI NIRMALA SITHARAMAN
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 strengths of both sides have been reduced. In order to maintain these troops during the winter, People Liberation Army (PLA) has undertaken construction of some infrastructure, including sentry posts, trenches and Helipads. (d) Government regularly takes the LAC- issues with the Chinese side through established mechanisms including Border Personnel Meetings, Flag Meetings, meetings of Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs, as well as through diplomatic channels.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.