China has the right to build military facilities within its own territory and complaints from New Delhi made "no sense," a Chinese expert said after the Indian defense minister was quoted as saying that China was building its army presence in Doklam.
No sooner had Chinese and Indian troops redeployed away from the hotspot than China began building "helipads, sentry posts and trenches" for its army personnel there, Indian defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday, the Economic Times of India reported.
"Actually, China has the right to build any military construction it wants as long as it is within its territory," Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
"Additionally, India is also building a lot of military bases in the regions bordering China, so if India wants to complain or accuse China of this, it is unqualified and it makes no sense."
After the face-off in 2017, troops of both sides "redeployed themselves away from their respective positions at the face-off site," Sitharaman said replying to a question on whether satellite images revealed China had constructed seven helipads while also deploying tanks and missiles in the area, the Indian newspaper the Economic Times reported.
The situation along India's border with China was "sensitive" and had the potential to escalate, junior defense minister Subhash Bhamre was quoted as saying by the Mumbai-based newspaper.
The Doklam standoff was caused by Indian troops' trespassing, said a Chinese military analyst who requested anonymity. The move afforded the PLA "the opportunity, motivation and excuse to boost military construction and increase its military presence in this area so that in future if any crisis happens in any border area, it won't bring anything good to the country who starts the provocation."
India is hosting an eight-day joint navy exercise in the Indian Ocean from Tuesday. Milan naval exercise participants include Australia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Vietnam, Thailand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya and Cambodia, the Times of India reported.
"There are voices saying that the exercise is targeting China's growing influence in the Indian Ocean, but many participants in this exercise also have good and close relations with China, so there is really no need to worry at all," the analyst said.