China builds villages near disputed border with India to ‘fortify claims’

Russia could exploit China India tensions says expert

The site is located roughly five kilometres from the Bum-la Pass in western Arunachal Pradesh, also close to Bhutan. The area is described as a tri-section between India, China and Bhutan.

China and India’s relationship has suffered in 2020 as the two nations are locked in a tense standoff on the Himalayan border at Ladakh where 20 Indian soldiers were killed in June.

It follows the emergence of satellite imagery appearing to show a Chinese village and road constructed in territory claimed by the Bhutanese at a separate site.

Dr Brahma Chellaney, a strategic affairs expert, said on Twitter: “Building border villages to fortify claims and escalate cross-frontier intrusions is integral to China’s territorial aggrandizement.

“Amid the military standoff with India, three villages come up near Bum-la Pass at the Arunachal-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction.”

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

The conflict has long been an issue as the countries first fought over the boundary in 1962 – but the recent killings were the first bloodshed in 45 years.

The 2,100-mile-long stretch of Himalayan land between the countries, known as the Line of Actual Control, was introduced but no official border has been negotiated.

Before and after satellite images, first reported by NDTV, show the significant development of the area in Bum-la Pass.

The pictures from Planet Labs appear to show one in the area on February 17, 2020.

It is composed of more than 20 structures resembling chalets with red roofs.

The second image, dated November 28, 2020, shows three more areas with chalet-like structures.

There appears to be at least 50 structures.

Intelligence analyst Twitter account @detresfa shared an image which appears to show five new border villages built near Bum La.

China and India ‘look set to lock horns’ over river dam battle [REVEAL]
India vs China: US report claims Beijing ‘PLANNED’ deadly Galwan clash [INSIGHT]
China and Pakistan pen new military deal amid tensions with India [LATEST]

In a tweet, @detresfa said relocating people to these villages “promises China with better border surveillance and patrols through a network of herders”.

China’s strategy to dominate border rows is discussed by journalist Bertil Lintner who says India is viewed as a “major obstacle on China’s road to greatness”.

Lintner, writing for Asia Times, questions “whether China is really looking for a solution to that long-standing and often bitter border dispute, or if maintaining fuzzy borders is a deliberate tool in Beijing’s foreign policy to negotiate better terms on trade, security and other issues with its neighbors.”

He notes that China’s issue with India in the Himalayas shares similarities with disputed waters in the South China Sea.

The LAC is divided into three sectors.

The eastern sector covers Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, the middle sector Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, and the western sector Ladakh.

Source: Read Full Article