New Delhi: China has constructed at least 3 villages, approximately 5 kilometres from the Bum La pass ( near Tawang ) which lies close to the tri-junction between India, China and Bhutan in western Arunachal Pradesh, NDTV reported .
Beijing disputes the boundary between India and China in this region and the new constructions here could be a significant step towards reinforcing its territorial claims along the Arunachal Pradesh frontier, report said.
The report said ”China has been using a strategy of settling Han Chinese and Tibetan members of the Communist Party along the India border to strengthen its territorial claims and escalate border intrusions,” says China-watcher Dr. Brahma Chellaney. ”Like it used fishermen in the South China Sea, China uses civilian resources – herders & grazers – as the tip of the spear to intrude into Indian-patrolled Himalayan areas.”
The images presented in this report, acquired from Planet Labs, show a single village having been constructed in the area by February 17, 2020. This features more than 20 structures, thought to be chalets, which can be easily distinguished through their red roofs. The second image, dated November 28, 2020, shows the addition of three additional enclaves with at least 50 structures.
China disputes the legal status of the boundary in this region and Chinese maps continue to show 65,000 square kilometres of territory south of the line as being a part of Beijing’s South Tibet Region. India, which has rejected Beijing’s claim for decades, insists that the historic McMohan line proposed by the British administrator Sir Henry McMohan at the 1914 Simla Convention defines the boundary here.
Significantly, construction across the Bum La pass is exactly what the Chinese government mouth piece, Global Times, identified in a detailed report in August which looked at infrastructure construction in the Shannan Prefecture which borders Arunachal Pradesh.