China builds village in disputed Arunachal Pradesh, says Pentagon

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China has developed a large village in a disputed area in India’s Arunachal Pradesh and has been taking gradual measures to assert its claims on the Line of Actual Control, reported Economic Times, quoting a Pentagon report to the US Congress.

According to the Pentagon’s annual report on the Chinese military, the Chinese authorities constructed a new village in Arunachal Pradesh last year in a disputed region beside the Tsari river. Indian officials have defined the PLA’s new border settlements as ‘dual purpose,’ with a possible military role.

“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 border have been a source of consternation in the Indian government and media,” the report said.

According to the reports of ET, there has been a significant increase in Chinese activity along the LAC in the Arunachal sector since last year, with improved residential accommodation and communication facilities built on the Tsari river near the town of Migyitun, which has also received upgraded road connectivity.

As per the Pentagon’s annual report, dialogue between India and China to resolve the border crisis has made limited progress, and the PLA is firmly blamed for the series of confrontations that began in May 2020, culminating in the bloody clash at Galwan, where 21 Indian troopers and an unspecified number of Chinese troopers died.

“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. In addition, a substantial reserve force from Tibet and Xinjiang military districts were deployed to the interior of western China to provide a rapid response,” the report said, as per ET.

Noting that there have been ongoing diplomatic and military dialogues to reduce border tensions, the Pentagon said, as per the news report, that the Chinese side continued “incremental and tactical actions to press its claims at the LAC” despite this.

China has “attempted to blame India for provoking the standoff through India’s increased infrastructure development near LAC,” the report said, noting the current stalemate that has resulted in thousands of troops being amassed on both sides of the border since last year. “Asserting that its deployments to LAC were in response to Indian provocation, Beijing has refused to withdraw any forces until India’s forces have withdrawn behind the PRC’s version of the LAC and ceased infrastructure improvements in the area,” the report said.

The Pentagon says, as per ET’s report, that on China’s objectives for the border standoff, Beijing has expressed its aim to prevent a wider military conflict and return to economic and diplomatic cooperation. It also noted that it has sought to “prevent India from deepening its relationship with the United States during and subsequent to the standoff” but without success.

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