News of a Chinese village in Bhutan spread after Chinese journalist Shen Shiwi from state-affiliated media tweeted pictures of a village that featured a road and chalets by the river side with satellite imagery, claiming it was near Doklam.
The tweet read: “Now, we have permanent residents living in the newly established Pangda village. It’s along the valley, 35 km south to Yadong country. Here is a map to show the location.”
Though the tweet was later deleted, it was picked up on social media, with people pointing out the place was well within Bhutanese territory.
International observers, including Nathan Ruser, a satellite imagery analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, responded to the tweets by highlighting the location of the village indicated a clear breach of Bhutan’s sovereignty.
Ruser tweeted: “Here’s a CGTN news producer openly admitting that China has occupied and now populated part of a sovereign country. This Pangda village has been constructed (as shown by the included map) 2.5 km beyond Bhutan’s international border. China now baselessly claims about 12 per cent of Bhutan.”
After Bhutan rejected the reports, the analyst tweeted: “Weird statement considering there’s satellite imagery and extensive photos from the ground of this village inside Bhutan, 9 kilometres from the Doklam face-off site. Seems like a blatant untruth to me.”
The new Chinese village lies in an area of immense sensitivity to India.