China has built a village in Arunachal Pradesh: Pentagon
Pentagon’s annual report on the Chinese military said that dialogue between India and China to resolve the border crisis has made limited progress, and firmly blamed the PLA for the series of confrontations that started in May 2020, resulting in the bloody clash at Galwan where 21 Indian soldiers, and an undisclosed number from China, 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.
Noting that there have been ongoing diplomatic and military dialogues to reduce border tensions, the Pentagon said that the Chinese side continued “incremental and tactical actions to press its claims at the LAC,” despite this.
The report mentioned a new village established by the Chinese government in Arunachal Pradesh last year, in a disputed area along the Tsari river. Indian officials have described such new settlements by the PLA along the border as ‘dual purpose’, with a likely military role as well.
“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.
As reported by ET, there has been a sharp rise in Chinese activity along LAC in the Arunachal sector since last year, with enhanced residential accommodation and communication facilities built on the Tsari river near the town of Migyitun, which has also got upgraded road connectivity.
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to LAC were in response to Indian provocation, Beijing has refused to withdraw any forces until India’s forces have withdrawn behind the PRC’s version of the LAC and ceased infrastructure improvements in the area,” the report said.
On China’s objectives for the border standoff, the Pentagon says that 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.