Aggression at the LAC - China build a village in Arunachal (US Pentagon report)

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Pentagon report indicates firmly that China's village-building in Arunachal Pradesh has accelerated.

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Aggression at the LAC - China build a village in Arunachal (US Pentagon report)

Read more on - Polity | Economy | Schemes | S&T | Environment

  • The story: News emerged that China was aggressively building villages, and settling those too with Han Chinese, on the Indian perceived side of the LAC. A US Pentagon report notices that "China attempted to blame India for provoking the standoff through India's increased infrastructure development near LAC, resulting in the current stalemate that has resulted in thousands of troops being amassed on both sides of the border since last year."
  • Village-building: China has now built a large village in a disputed area in Arunachal Pradesh and has been taking incremental action to press its claims on the Line of Actual Control. This was said in a report by the Pentagon to the US Congress.
  1. This 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.
  2. Report said that "Beginning 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."
  3. 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.
  4. The report mentioned a new village established by the Chinese government in Arunachal Pradesh in 2020, in a disputed area along the Tsari river. Indian officials described such new settlements by the PLA along the border as 'dual purpose', with a likely military role as well.
  5. These and other infrastructure development efforts along the India-China border have been a source of consternation in the Indian government and media.
  • Rising intensity: There surely 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. 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.
  • US, China, India: Pentagon thinks that China's objectives for the border standoff included a goal to prevent a wider military conflict and return to economic and diplomatic cooperation. It also said that China has sought to "prevent India from deepening its relationship with the United States during and subsequent to the standoff" but without success.
  • What experts and politicians say: There are serious observations.
  1. Renowned Tibetologist Claude Arpi - "The village is well South of the McMahon [Line] and the Indian perception of the Line of Actual Control. Construction of the village is an extraordinarily serious issue as it has many other implications elsewhere on the boundary."
  2. Sim Tack, Chief Military Analyst at Force Analysis - "The imagery is clearly showing the Chinese construction of a residential area within India's claimed border. It's important to note that the Chinese military has maintained a small forward position in this valley since 2000. This position has allowed China to advance observation into the valley for many years ... [and] has been seemingly uncontested. This has allowed gradual upgrades of mobility from China into the valley (roads and bridges) over time, eventually culminating in the recent construction of this village."
  3. Dr. Brahma Chellaney, author, renowned geostrategic affairs editor - "China is opening another front against India by taking its 'salami-slicing' tactics to Arunachal Pradesh. Its encroachment on an area that clearly falls within India underscores the stealth and speed with which it is redrawing facts on the ground, with little regard for the geopolitical fallout."
  4. Arunachal Pradesh BJP MP Tapir Gao - "Construction is still going on. China has entered more than 60-70 kms inside the upper Subansiri district if you follow the path along the river... They are constructing a road along the river known locally as the Lensi as it flows in the direction of the Subansiri river."
  • Summary: Given the interal political situation in China, where Xi Jinping is about to get himself reappointed for next 10 years (in 2022), and rising tensions in Taiwan strait are making the PLA Navy and Air Force more important (compared to the PLA itself), the problems at the LAC are not going to subside anytime soon. India has to stay prepared.
  • EXAM QUESTIONS: (1) Explain the reason China is stoking problems at the LAC, despite multiple rounds of talks with India, and practically no ingress by India into Chinese territory. (2) What are the Americans thinking about the India-China LAC troubles? Explain with reference to the Pentagon Report, 2021.
Read more on - Polity | Economy | Schemes | S&T | Environment

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PT's IAS Academy: Aggression at the LAC - China build a village in Arunachal (US Pentagon report)
Aggression at the LAC - China build a village in Arunachal (US Pentagon report)
Pentagon report indicates firmly that China's village-building in Arunachal Pradesh has accelerated.
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PT's IAS Academy
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