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China encroaches parts of Himalayan neighbour, Bhutan

  A new report has claimed that China has built a village 8 km within Bhutan's territory. It is a part of its move to expand and develop its infrastructure in the border regions of Tibet. As per a report in Foreign Policy, in 2015, China established a new village in the south of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and named it Gyalaphug in Tibetan or Jieluobu in Chinese.
The report says China has been gradually and stealthily invading Bhutan for years, following a 2017 drive flagged by President Xi Jinping to fortify the Tibetan borderlands. The incident went unnoticed by the world media.
In April 2020, the Communist Party secretary of TAR, Wu Yingjie, travelled across two passes, both more than 14,000 feet high, on his way to visit the new village. There he told the residents—all of the Tibetans—to "put down roots like Kalsang flowers in the borderland of snows" and to "raise the bright five-star red flag high."
Over several years, China has sought to fortify its Tibetan border. It gained leverage on South Asian rival India by stealthily constructing a complex of roads, villages, and security installations on land that belongs to Bhutan. Gyalaphug is not part of Tibet Autonomous Region or China, but it is a region in Bhutan claimed by China since the early 1980s. Initially, it is part of the Lhuntse district in northern Bhutan.
China has been developing the 232-square-mile area with settlers, security personnel and military infrastructure originally belong to Bhutan. The new construction commenced under President Xi Jinping's significant drive to out-manoeuvre India and its neighbours along Himalayan frontiers. The land occupation aims to compel the Bhutanese government to surrender territory that China wants elsewhere in Bhutan to gain military power in India's struggle.
A paper published by the journal Foreign Policy states that China has constructed 66 miles of new roads, a small hydropower station, two Communist Party administrative centres, a communications base and a disaster relief warehouse. It also has five military or police outposts, a prominent signals tower, a satellite receiving station, a military base up to six security sites and outposts that China has constructed 8 km into Bhutan.
According to the report published by Foreign policy, China says that they are the parts of Lhodrak in the TAR but are in the far north of Bhutan. The research paper also states that 'with a population of just 800,000 compared to China's 1.4 billion, "there is little Bhutan can do" but watch as Beijing takes large gulps of its territory'. The report suggests that China does not need the land, settling in Bhutan. But instead it wants to use it as leverage for other territories in Bhutan that may be advantageous for it to go against India.
In April, China's foreign ministry said both Beijing and Thimphu had agreed to continue maintaining peace and stability in the border areas. China released a white paper saying it was ramping up efforts to develop the infrastructure in remote villages located along Tibet's border with India, Bhutan and Nepal.
Stealthily but steadily, Beijing is reportedly building whole towns across internationally recognized borders in a new and dangerous global power play. Beijing has already done in the South China Sea - building outposts and claiming dubious sovereignty - is now also being in the Himalayas.
The rapid progression undoubtedly looks like an act of aggression, not only to the immediate neighbours but to the whole world.



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