China in Arunachal Pradesh: Amid the ongoing border dispute in East Ladakh with China, a new concern appears to be emerging in Arunachal Pradesh. In the exclusive satellite pictures that NDTV has received, it can be seen that China has established a new village in Arunachal Pradesh, where about 101 houses are visible. When NDTV contacted several experts about these pictures taken on 1 November 2020, they confirmed that this village remains 4.5 kilometers within the actual border of India and will be of great concern to India.
The village exists on the banks of the Tsari Chu River in Upper Subansiri District. This is the area where there has been a long-standing dispute between the two countries and it has been identified as a place of armed fighting. The village was built in the eastern range of the Himalayas when, shortly before, there was a violent clash between the armies of the two countries in the Galvan Valley decades later in June, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. However, China never officially told how many of its soldiers were harmed.
This dispute of eastern Ladakh has not been resolved even after several rounds of talks and the soldiers of the two countries are stationed at the border amidst the fierce deadly cold in difficult areas. The latest image is from 1 November 2020. If you look at the photo of August 26, 2019, no construction work is visible here. So this means that this construction has been done in the last one year.
NDTV also sent these pictures to the Ministry of External Affairs and asked questions in detail, On which the Ministry did not directly reject them and said in response that ‘We have received reports from China of intensifying construction activities in the border areas of India. China has started construction activities in the last few years. The government says that it is committed to continuously improve its infrastructure on the border. He said, “Our government has started building many other infrastructure including roads, bridges, etc., which has helped us to establish the necessary connectivity with the local public on the border.”
In October last year, China’s foreign ministry said, “For some time, the Indian side has been increasing infrastructure and military activities along the border, and this is the reason for the tension between the two sides.” However, no construction has been done on behalf of India in the Chinese area around this village.
Even in November 2020, when this satellite image was taken, BJP MP from Arunachal, Tapir Gao warned about Chinese incursion into his state in the Lok Sabha.He specifically mentioned the Upper Subansiri district. This morning he told NDTV that among the constructions that China has built, a double lane road is also included. He said, ‘Construction work is still going on. If you see the way of the river in Subanshiri district, China has entered at least 60 to 70 km inside here. China is building a road on the banks of the river known locally as the river Lensi which flows towards the Subanshiri river.
On the question of whether the issue has been raised diplomatically to China, the Ministry of External Affairs did not give a direct answer but told NDTV that ‘the government constantly monitors every development related to India’s security and maintains its territorial integrity Takes every necessary step to maintain.
The Surveyor General of India, which the Government of India uses as its official map, clearly shows that the area where the Chinese village is made, it falls within the border of India.
NDTV received these images from Planet Labs Inc, where experts in satellite imagery regularly monitor the planet. His imagery shows the exact coordinates of this new village, which lies to the north of a large square structure. Defense experts believe that this is a military post in China, whose first picture was taken by Google Earth a decade ago. It can be seen in the new pictures received from NDTV that this place has also been upgraded.
Photos from Google Earth also show that the village is to the south of the McMahon Line, which lies between India’s northeastern border and Tibet. New Delhi considers it to be the border between India and China in this area. However, China considers this border as disputed.
Cloth Arpi, an expert on Indo-China relations, says, “The village is quite south of the McMahon Line and the Line of Actual Control set by the Indian side.” He said that even though this area has been disputed, the construction of a new village here is an unusually serious issue as it can cause many complications on the borders between the two countries.
Village construction seems to violate an important part of the many agreements reached between the two countries, which states that both countries should ‘protect the interests of their respective populations of the border areas’ and ‘both till the final settlement of the border. Countries will have to respect each other’s Line of Actual Control and maintain peace together in border areas.
Sim Tak, a major military analyst of armed conflicts, says, ‘The imagery clearly shows that the Chinese manufacturing has been done within the claimed limits of India. It is important to see that the Chinese army has maintained its forward position in this valley less than 2000 years, which has helped China to keep an eye on the valley for years. He has not seen much opposition, due to which he has been gradually increasing his mobility in the valley, which is now finally seen as a village.
The Tsari Chu river valley has seen skirmishes between the two countries in 1959. At that time, a formal note was sent to China from the Indian side saying that a forward post of India was fired from the Chinese side without any notice.
Brahm Chellani, a strategic affairs expert, says, “China is slowly opening up a second front against India by adopting the technology that penetrates into Arunachal Pradesh. His move to build within India’s border shows clearly how he is changing things on the ground so fast, irrespective of geopolitical aspects.