New Delhi: A top US official has said that China has quietly resumed its activities in Doklam and that neither Bhutan nor India has tried to dissuade it. The official also compared Beijing's actions in the Himalayan region with its manovers in the disputed South China Sea.
While China claims its sovereignty over all of South China Sea, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.
"I would assess that India is vigorously defending its northern borders and this is a subject of concern to India," Alice G Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing while responding to a question on China's increased road building activities along the Indian border.
"As (India) ahead to its own strategic stability, it certainly helps drive and is a factor in driving closer partnership that we enjoy with India," Ms Wells said in response to a question from Congresswoman Ann Wagner.
There have been repeated clashes between India and China over territories in the Himalayas. Recently, there was a face off between India and Chinese troops on the disputed Doklam plateau between Bhutan and China after the Chinese People's Liberation Army began building roads illegally through the area, Ms Wagner said.
"Although both countries back down, China has quietly resumed its activities in Doklam and neither Bhutan nor India has sought to dissuade it. China's activities in the Himalayas remind me of its south China Sea policies. How should our failure to respond to the militarisation of the South China Sea inform the international response to these Himalayan border disputes?" Ms Wagner asked.
Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Doklam from June 16 last year. The Indian side had stopped the building of a road in the disputed tri-junction by the Chinese Army, which resulted in a faceoff.