China 'justifies' building infrastructure in Doklam; India says keeping a close vigil

Stating that he would not name anyone specifically, Lt. Gen. Krishna said the Indian Army is in high spirits and ready to take on any mischief Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 19, 2018, 09.28 AM (IST)

China on Friday justified its massive construction activities in the Doklam area, describing it as "legitimate" and aimed at improving the lives of its troops and the people living on its own territory.

China's reaction came amid reports that it was building a huge military complex close to the site of the Dokalam stand-off with India.

"China's position on the Donglong (what China calls Doklam) area is quite clear. Donglong always belonged to China and always under China's effective jurisdiction. There is no dispute in this regard," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, asserting Chinese sovereignty over the area which is also claimed by Bhutan.

"China is exercising its sovereignty in its own territory. It's legitimate and justified. Just as China will not make comments about Indian construction of infrastructure on India's territory, we hope other countries will not make comment on China's construction of infrastructure on its territory," Lu added.

India, meanwhile, said it is keeping a close vigil on latest developments. "We are keeping a close vigil," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Asked about reports citing satellite imagery of a Chinese military complex in the area, Lu said: "I have also noted the relevant report. I don't know who offered such kind of photos."

But at same time he said he did not have detailed information on it.

Asked about concerns that China is preparing for a second standoff at Dokalam area, he said Indian troops' intervention to stop building a key road close the Chicken Neck Corridor of India, has put the bilateral ties to severe test.

Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a stand-off for over two months last year in the Doklam area near Sikkim before "disengaging" on August 28.

(With inputs from agencies)