According to recent satellite images tweeted out by a leading satellite imagery expert on Chinese military development, China has established four new villages in Bhutan’s territory in the previous year. The word circulated quickly on social media after Shen Shiwi, a Chinese journalist, shared satellite photos of a settlement near Doklam.

Images show multiple settlements being built across an area of 100 square kilometers on the disputed terrain near the Doklam plateau, where India and China clashed in 2017 and China evaded Indian defences to begin road development in the area. The area stands at a tri-junction between China, India, and Bhutan.

As the revelations unfolded, the Congress took a dig at the Centre again on Thursday, this time over the border dispute with China, and slammed the Modi government for compromising national security. Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh addressed a press conference and said that Prime Minister and Defence Minister of the country have undermined the astounding velour and insurmountable grit of the country’s Armed Forces, who faced Chinese incursions and aggressions with indomitable courage and sacrifice. He urged the Prime Minister not to hide behind smokescreen and answer to the people.

He further said that China is getting active and developing infrastructure, roads, and highways in the Chumbi valley, as stated by the GOC in Chief of the Eastern Army Command. The Chumbi valley has a direct impact on and threatens the Siliguri corridor which connects the seven northeastern states to the rest of India and is of strategic importance.

Bhutan, on the other hand, has denied accusations that Chinese settlements have been created in Bhutanese territory in Doklam. “There is no Chinese village within Bhutan,” Maj Gen Vetsop Namgyel, Bhutan’s envoy to India, told the media.