‘Keep constant watch’: India amid Chinese breach report
New satellite imagery showing a village built by China in a disputed region of Arunachal Pradesh prompted a cautious response from India on Monday, with the government saying it closely monitors all developments affecting national security and acts to safeguard territorial integrity.
The Indian government has stepped up construction of border infrastructure, including roads and bridges, in response to China’s “construction work along the border areas”, the external affairs ministry said.
China built a village, consisting of 101 structures, in Arunachal Pradesh, about 4.5km “within Indian territory of the de facto border”, NDTV reported while citing satellite imagery from Planet Labs, a private US-based imaging company.
The village is located on the banks of Tsari Chu river in Upper Subansiri district, an area along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This was the same region where five people were detained for some time by Chinese troops last September.
Comparing two images provided by Planet Labs, NDTV reported the village was built sometime in the past 15 months.
The first image, from August 26, 2019, didn’t show any construction activity, while the second, from November 1, 2020, depicted the village with dozens of rows of small and medium-sized structures and roads.
The external affairs ministry didn’t address the issue of the particular village referred to in the report, but said: “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 ministry said in a statement that India had “seen recent reports on China undertaking construction work along the border areas”.
It added, “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 government is committed to creating infrastructure along border areas to improve the livelihood of citizens, including in Arunachal Pradesh, the statement said.
People familiar with developments, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the existence of the village but pointed out that control over Upper Subansiri region has been fluid for decades. The particular area where the village is located has been in China’s possession since 1959, when Chinese troops overran an Assam Rifles camp, the people said.
Sim Tack, a Belgium-based security analyst for Force Analysis, said the village in question in Arunachal Pradesh appeared to be part of China’s recent construction activity to bolster its territorial claims all along the LAC.
Tack said the village appeared to be several kilometres “inside the Indian claim” and noted China has had a “small presence” in this area 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. It would appear China is applying such infrastructure to strengthen its territorial claims,” Tack said. China claims the whole of Arunachal Pradesh as south Tibet.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- On Wednesday, the Centre had submitted a note prepared by Department of Financial Services (DFS) which did not agree with the Court’s suggestion to create additional courts as a solution to curb high pendency of Section 138 cases.
- Indore was ranked the ninth-best city among cities with over a million population.
- Pradhan, who has written at least three letters to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanding immediate implementation of 27 per cent quota for OBC category, in a statement said that his demand for reservation in jobs and education remain unaddressed till date.
- General Bipin Rawat said the Indian armed forces face greater challenges than any other military in the world and India urgently needs to bring about structural reforms in higher defence and operational organisations.
- The bills passed by the assembly are the Arunachal Pradesh Civil Courts Bill, the Arunachal Pradesh Goods and Service Tax (Amendment) Bill, the Arunachal Pradesh Ease of Doing Business Bill and the Arunachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill.
- Akhilesh Yadav launched a similar attack against EVMs during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections citing news clippings on malfunctioning of EVMs.
- Launched in 2018, the ranking has assumed importance over the years in shaping government policies and determining expenditure priorities. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been emphasizing the ease of living along with the ease of doing business as a key policy priority.