‘Bite by bite, China is eating away at India’s borderlands’: New enclave comes up in Arunachal Pradesh

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China has constructed a second enclave or cluster of at least 60 buildings in Arunachal Pradesh, new satellite images show.

According to NDTV, the new enclave did not exist in 2019 according to the satellite images; a year later, it can be seen.

It lies 93 km east of a China-constructed village in Arunachal Pradesh.

The second enclave lies approximately 6 kilometres within India in the region between the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the International Boundary. India has always claimed this as its own territory. The images do not offer any clarity on whether the enclave is occupied.

The Indian Army on the development said, ”The location corresponding to the coordinates mentioned in your query lies to the North of LAC (Line of Actual Control) in Chinese territory.” This statement does not refute the fact that construction of this enclave seems to lie between the Line of Actual Control and the International Boundary, in other words, within Indian territory illegally occupied by China.

The new enclave, the second of its kind, is established through images from two of the world’s premier satellite imagery providers, Maxar Technologies and Planet Labs, the national news channel said.

These images of the Shi-Yomi district of Arunachal show not just dozens of buildings, including a structure with a flag of China painted on a roof top, large enough to be spotted by imaging satellites. The giant flag appears to assert a territorial claim to the area.

The exact location of the new enclave is clearly indicated on Bharatmaps, a Government of India online map service. A digital map of India, detailed carefully by the Surveyor General of India, also confirms the location is within India.

“Based on GIS [Geographic Information System] data obtained from the official Survey of India website, the location of this village indeed falls within Indian territorial claims,” said Sim Tack, Chief Military Analyst at the Europe based Force Analysis, which provides data and analysis on armed conflicts and defense policy. “This appears to be a location where local geography makes access to this valley much more conducive from the Chinese side than from the Indian side. The valley connects directly to nearby Chinese communities on the Yarlung Tsangpo [Brahmaputra] River, while it is separated by steep mountain ranges from Indian controlled territory.”

‘The new village shows how, bite by bite, China is eating away at India’s Himalayan borderlands. The pictures of the sparkling new village vividly show its artificial nature,” says strategic analyst Brahma Chellaney, one of India’s leading strategic analysts on China. ”China has even coined a Chinese name for the village, located in an area where traditionally no one spoke Chinese,” he says.

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