Chinese troops have thinned in Doklam: Indian Army chief

rawat

Chinese troops have maintained their presence in Doklam on the border though their numbers have thinned, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Friday.

Addressing the media ahead of the Army Day on January 15, he said road construction had been on in Doklam since 2000 but the Chinese soldiers had come close to Tosa Bala, dividing north and south Doklam in June last year just before the India-China standoff started.

He said the Chinese had come with a large manpower and equipment.

“We felt they will try to claim the whole Doklam… It was also posing a threat to us as it was changing the status quo,” he said.

Gen Rawat said the Chinese presence in the northern part of Doklam continued but has thinned out and the level of activity has also gone down.

The Army chief stressed on shifting focus to the country’s boundary with China in the north.

“The focus has to shift to the northern borders. We have focused too long on the western side,” the Army chief said.

About increase in border transgressions and contact between Indian and Chinese soldiers, he said the numbers have gone up as India had deployed more troops in more forward positions along the border.