‘Construction in our own territory’: China on Arunachal village report

Published on Jan 22, 2021 06:59 AM IST

The Chinese foreign ministry was responding to the report based on satellite imagery, which showed rows of houses in Indian territory that has been under Chinese control since 1959, and which is disputed.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet opposing New Delhi’s consistent stand that the northeastern state is an integral and inalienable part of India.(AFP file photo. Representative image)
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet opposing New Delhi’s consistent stand that the northeastern state is an integral and inalienable part of India.(AFP file photo. Representative image)
BySutirtho Patranobis, Beijing


China on Thursday dismissed a report that said it had built a village in Arunachal Pradesh, saying the construction activities were within its own territory and its sovereign right.

The Chinese foreign ministry was responding to the report based on satellite imagery, which showed rows of houses in Indian territory that has been under Chinese control since 1959, and which is disputed.

“First, I would like to tell you that China’s position on the east sector of the China-India boundary, or Zangnan (the southern part of China’s Tibet), is consistent and clear. We have never recognised the so-called Arunachal Pradesh illegally established on Chinese territory,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing while responding to a question on the report on Thursday.

“China’s normal construction on its own territory is entirely a matter of sovereignty,” Hua added.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet opposing New Delhi’s consistent stand that the northeastern state is an integral and inalienable part of India.

Using satellite images dated November 1, 2020, television channel NDTV reported the village is located on the banks of the Tsari Chu river, which lies in the area disputed between India and China.

The report said the village comprises more than 100 homes; an image dated August 26, 2019, did not show any habitation in the same area.

The India-China border dispute covers the 3488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The report about the new village in Arunachal Pradesh comes amid a military stand-off between India and China in eastern Ladakh, which has lasted for over eight months.

India and China have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks to resolve the face-off in eastern Ladakh but no significant headway has been made so far.

Earlier this week, Chinese state media said New Delhi was trying to hype news about the village.

The Indian media reports were “a blatant attempt to stir up troubles on the China-India border,” Zhang Yongpan, a research fellow of the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), told the tabloid Global Times on Tuesday.

The external affairs ministry in India when asked about the development said on Monday that it keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on the country’s security and takes necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

India had stepped up the construction of border infrastructure, including roads and bridges for the improvement of livelihood of its citizens, MEA said.

“Government keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sutirtho Patranobis has been in Beijing since 2012, as Hindustan Times’ China correspondent. He was previously posted in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he covered the final phase of the civil war and its aftermath. Patranobis covered several beats including health and national politics in Delhi before being posted abroad.

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