Reports of Chinese village in Arunachal; India on 'constant watch'
India is keeping a "constant watch" on all developments having a bearing on national security, the central government said on Monday amid reports of fresh Chinese construction activity in Arunachal Pradesh. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that China has undertaken such activities in the past several years. The development comes months into the Indo-China border row in eastern Ladakh.
According to satellite footage accessed exclusively by NDTV, China has constructed a new village of about 101 homes in Arunachal Pradesh. The footage—dated November 1, 2020—showed the village approximately 4.5 kms within Indian territory of the de facto border, the report stated. The village was reportedly set up in the past year on the banks of River Tsari Chu in the Upper Subansiri district.
Acknowledging the Chinese construction activities, the MEA said on Monday that India has also stepped up border infrastructure including the construction of roads, bridges, etc., for "much-needed connectivity to the local population along the border." The government remains committed to creating infrastructure along the border areas to improve the livelihood of citizens, including in Arunachal Pradesh, the Ministry said.
The Ministry went on to add, "The 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."
Ties between India and China have soured further since a border standoff erupted in early-May last year in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control. Since the initial escalation, tensions have risen at several friction points along the LAC. In mid-June, a fatal clash in Galwan Valley also led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers and a disputed number of Chinese fatalities.
Since the escalations, China has explicitly claimed Arunachal Pradesh in its entirety as south Tibet. Amid such contentious statements, diplomatic and military-level talks between India and China have failed to fully resolve the conflict. Notably, in September last year, five people were allegedly abducted by Chinese troops in the Upper Subansiri district, where the new Chinese village has reportedly been constructed.