New satellite images show that China has constructed a new village in Arunachal Pradesh, consisting of about 101 homes, NDTV reported.
According to the report, the same images, dated 1 November 2020, have been analysed by several experts approached by NDTV, who confirmed that the construction, approximately 4.5 kms within Indian territory of the de facto border, will be of huge concern to India.
The village, located on the banks of the River Tsari Chu, lies in the Upper Subansiri district, an area which has been long disputed by India and China and has been marked by armed conflict.
It was constructed in the eastern range of the Himalayas even as Indian and Chinese soldiers confronted each other in their deadliest clash in decades, thousands of kilometres away in the Western Himalayas in Ladakh. In June last year, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash in the Galwan Valley.
The latest image that establishes the village in question is dated November 1, 2020. The image dated a little more than a year before that – August 26, 2019 – does not show any construction activity. So, the village was set up in the last year.
In response to NDTV’s detailed questions, the Foreign Ministry, which was also sent the satellite images, did not challenge what the pictures show. “We have seen recent reports on China undertaking construction work along the border areas with India. China has undertaken such infrastructure construction activity in the past several years.”
The government says it remains committed to improving border infrastructure. ”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.”
In October last year, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, “For some time, the Indian side has been ramping up infrastructure development along the border and stepping up military deployment that is the root cause for the tensions between the two sides.” There are, however, no signs of Indian road or infrastructure development in the immediate vicinity of the new Chinese village.