China has built a large civilian village of about 100 homes in a disputed territory in Arunachal Pradesh, the US department of defense has said.
In its annual report on military developments involving China, presented to the Congress, the department said such infrastructure development efforts by the China’s People’s Liberation Army have been a source of concern in the India government.
According to reports, the new village was established along the Tsari river last year.
“Beginning in May 2020, PLA launched incursions into customarily Indian-controlled territory across the border and has concentrated troops at several standoff locations along LAC (Line of Actual Control),” the report said, adding China has deployed reserve force from Tibet and Xinjiang military districts in the western parts of the country for rapid response.
Dialogue between the two nations to resolve border disputes have not made much progress with the Chinese blaming India for provoking them with “increased infrastructure development” near the LAC, the report said.
The US department of defense report blamed China for the series of confrontations along the border that culminated into the violent clash in June 2020 in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, which was one of the worst clashes seen in 45 years. At least 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number from the Chinese army were killed in the clash. The Central Military Commission in China had posthumously awarded four PLA soldiers in February 2021.
Despite the ongoing military talks to reduce border tensions, China pursued “incremental and tactical actions to press its claims at the LAC” and refused to withdraw forces until Indian forces were withdrawn, the report said.
According Economic Times, the Chinese army has stepped up activity along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh since 2020. Residential building, roads and communication facilities have been established along the Tsari river near Migyitun town.
Lieutenant General Manoj Pande, chief of the Eastern Army Command, last month told reporters these border villages served “dual-use"”purposes and could be used to position soldiers as well.
China’s move to establish villages in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh are part of its plan to ramp up infrastructure in the Tibet region, NDTV reported. The plan includes building up more than 600 villages in the region and setting up road and rail infrastructure to border towns.
Subsequent to the military standoff in 2020, the Chinese government had tried to prevent India from partner with the US, but has been unsuccessful in its efforts, the US department of defense said.