India has taken strong note of a 100-home Chinese village in Arunachal Pradesh mentioned in a recent US Department of Defence report, details of which were first reported by NDTV earlier this year.
“China has undertaken construction activities in the past several years along border areas, including in the areas that it has illegally occupied over decades. India has neither accepted such illegal occupation of our territory nor has it accepted the unjustified Chinese claims,” foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said today.
He added that the government “has always conveyed and would continue to convey” this to Beijing.
“India keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on its security and takes all the necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Mr Bagchi said, adding that India too stepped up infrastructure development, including roads and bridges, in areas along the border with China.
NDTV had broken the story of the Chinese village built on Indian Territory illegally occupied by China.
The annual United States Department of Defence report on military developments referred to this village while detailing the US perception of tension between the two countries along the Line of Actual Control or LAC.
Mr Bagchi said the report submitted to the US Congress “also makes a reference to construction activities by Chinese side along India-China border areas, particularly in the Eastern sector”. Reports had also appeared in the media earlier this year on this issue, he said.
“Sometime in 2020, the PRC (People’s Republic of China) built a large 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between the PRC’s Tibet Autonomous Region and India’s Arunachal Pradesh state in the eastern sector of the LAC,” the US Department of Deference said in its chapter on the China-India border standoff.
In January, NDTV had given details of this new Chinese village built squarely within Indian Territory, south of the McMahon line, based on high-resolution satellite imagery of the area.
The village is located on the banks of the River Tsari Chu, and lies in the Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, an area which has seen clashes between India and Chinese soldiers even before the 1962 war.
China has maintained a small military outpost in the area for more than a decade. The situation changed drastically in 2020, when it constructed a full-fledged village and stepped up road construction on Indian territory.
China’s policy of building up habitations along the Line of Actual Control in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh is a part of a multi-billion dollar plan to ramp up infrastructure in the Tibet region. This includes the development of massive road and rail infrastructure to border towns and a plan to reportedly build more than 600 fully developed villages in the region.