China builds village in Arunachal, Satellite images confirm
Satellite images have confirmed that China is constructing a new village in a disputed area of Arunachal Pradesh. China has already build 3 villages in the hitherto uninhabited stretches of western Arunachal Pradesh in December 2020. The images were provided by a private US-based imaging company, Planet Lab Inc.
According to reports, China has built a new village with around 101 homes on the banks of the River Tsari Chu, which lies in the Upper Subansiri district. This area is about 4.5 kilometers “within Indian territory of the de facto border”. Satellite images have confirmed the existence of the village.
On comparing the two satellite images, it was found that the village was built sometime in the past 15 months. The first image was released on 26th of August, 2019 and it did not have any construction activity in it. But on the other hand the second image was released on 1st of November, 2020. This image depicted the village with dozens of rows of small and medium-sized structures and roads.
On Monday, India responded cautiously to this report by saying “Government keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security and takes all the necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The external affairs ministry said in a statement that, “China has undertaken such infrastructure construction activity in the past several years. In response, our government too has stepped up border infrastructure including the construction of roads, bridges etc, which has provided much needed connectivity to the local population along the border.”
The statement further added that the government is committed to improve the livelihood of citizens of Arunachal Pradesh by improving the infrastructure along the border areas.
A Belgium based security analyst for Force analysis, Sim Tack, said that the village in question appeared to be part of China’s recent construction activity to strengthen its territorial claims along the LAC. He further said that “The village appeared to be several kilometres “inside the Indian claim” and noted that China has had a “small presence” in this area. That presence was also in the form of a military outpost since about 2000. So, the Chinese presence is not necessarily new, but what is new is the building of a village to settle people in the area,”
“China has been preparing infrastructure on its own side for a long time but now the infrastructure is being created in disputed regions in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan. It would appear China is applying such infrastructure to strengthen its territorial claims,” Tack added.
China has always claimed the whole of Arunachal Pradesh as south Tibet and this area has been long disputed by India and China.