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China has built a village in disputed Arunachal Pradesh: Pentagon

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China has built a large 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between the Tibet Autonomous Region and India's Arunachal Pradesh, said the US Department of Defense in its annual report to Congress on military and security developments involving China.

The Pentagon report titled "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China," said "sometime in 2020, the PRC 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. These and other infrastructure development efforts along the India-China have been a source of consternation in the Indian government and media."

The village in question is located on the banks of the River Tsari Chu, and lies in the Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, an area that has seen clashes between India and Chinese soldiers even before the 1962 war, according to NDTV.

While 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 activity inside Indian territory in the region.

Details of the presence of this new Chinese village, which lies squarely within Indian territory, south of the McMahon line [1], was first reported by NDTV in January this year based on high-resolution satellite imagery of the area.

The report stated that differing perceptions of border demarcations along the LAC joined with recent infrastructure construction, led to multiple unarmed clashes, an ongoing standoff, and military buildups on both sides of the border.

Elaborating the India and China border dispute in the last 18 months, the Pentagon report recalled that beginning in May 2020, the PLA launched incursions into customarily Indian-controlled territory across the border and has concentrated troops at several standoff locations along the LAC. In addition, a substantial reserve force from the Tibet and Xinjiang Military Districts were deployed to the interior of Western China to provide a rapid response. The June 2020 skirmish in Galwan Valley, which led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers, marked the first loss of life on the LAC since 1975.

As the standoff continues, the PRC has expressed its aim to prevent the standoff from worsening into a wider military conflict. PRC state-controlled media forcefully asserted China's intent to refuse any territorial concessions demanded by India. PRC officials, through official statements and state media, had also sought unsuccessfully to prevent India from deepening its relationship with the United States during and subsequent to the standoff, while accusing India of being a mere "instrument" of U.S. policy in the region.

The PRC seeks to prevent border tensions from causing India to partner more closely with the United States, the Pentagon report said, adding: "PRC officials have warned U.S. officials to not interfere with the PRC's relationship with India."

As of April 2021, PLA and Indian Army (IA) representatives have held eleven rounds of Corps-level negotiations since the beginning of the standoff in May 2020, consisting of meetings between the commanders of the PLA's South Xinjiang (Nanjiang) Military District and the Indian Army's 14th Corps. The negotiations have yielded limited disengagement at specific areas along the LAC.

China denounces Indian Vice President's visit to Arunachal Pradesh

Amid continuing tensions in Ladakh, India and China las month exchanged sharp statements on Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu's visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

Naidu visited Arunachal Pradesh on October 9 and addressed a special session of the Provincial Assembly.

On October 13, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said: "The Chinese government never recognizes the so-called Arunachal Pradesh established unilaterally and illegally by the Indian side, and is firmly opposed to the Indian leaders' visits to the area concerned. We urge the Indian side to earnestly respect China's major concerns, stop taking any action that would complicate and expand the boundary issue, and refrain from undermining mutual trust and bilateral relations. It should instead take real concrete actions to maintain peace and stability in the China-India border areas and help bring the bilateral relations back on to the track of sound and steady development."

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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