China has built a second cluster of at least 60 buildings in Arunachal Pradesh, approximately 6 kilometres within India in the region between the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the International Boundary, according to a new report.
The enclave lies 93km east of a China-constructed village in Arunachal, whose existence was confirmed by the Pentagon just days ago.
The new enclave can be seen in images – accessed by NDTV – from two major satellite imagery providers: Maxar Technologies and Planet Labs, and its exact location is clearly indicated on Bharatmaps, a Government of India online map service. A digital map of India, detailed by the Survey of India, which comes under the Department of Science & Technology – also confirms the location, the channel said.
Earlier this month, the US Department of Defense’s report to the Congress on the Chinese military had a special section on the ongoing border standoff between India and China. “Despite the ongoing diplomatic and military dialogues to reduce border tensions, the PRC has continued taking incremental and tactical actions to press its claims at the LAC. 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,” it said.
Following its publication, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that India had “taken note” of the DoD report.
He asserted that China had “undertaken construction activities in the past several years along the border areas including in the areas that it has illegally occupied over the decades”.
“India has neither accepted such illegal occupation of our territory nor has it accepted the unjustified Chinese claims,” Bagchi added.
Later, however, Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat dismissed the reports.
Speaking at the Times Now Summit 2021, Rawat claimed that China had only been carrying out construction on its side of the LAC. He also said that “as far as we are concerned, no such village development has taken place on our side of the LAC”.
“The present controversy that has erupted, that the Chinese have come across into our territory and built a new village, is not true,” he said.