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Chinese build village on disputed border with India: Intelligence Reports

According to the US Department of Defense’s annual report to Congress on military and security developments involving China, China has built a 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between Tibet Autonomous Region and India’s Arunachal Pradesh. According to the report, these and other infrastructure development efforts along the India-China border have alarmed the Indian government and media.

The report also specifically points out that China has attempted to blame India for provoking the standoff by increasing infrastructure near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Beijing has refused to withdraw any forces from the LAC until India has withdrawn behind its version of the LAC and stopped construction of infrastructure in the area, saying its deployments were a response to Indian provocation. China’s state-controlled media asserted that it would refuse any territorial concessions demanded by India.

The PRC (People’s Republic of China) also attempted to prevent the deepening of India’s ties with the United States during and after the standoff, accusing India of just being a ‘tool’ of US policy. According to the department, Chinese officials have warned US officials not to interfere with their relationship with India. Moreover, it stated that despite the ongoing diplomatic and military dialogues to reduce border tensions, the PRC has continued incremental and tactical actions to press its claims at the LAC.

Chinese and Indian troops engaged in an ongoing standoff along the LAC in mid-May 2020, which lasted through the winter. On June 15, 2020, the standoff escalated after the Indian Army and PLA fought in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, resulting in casualties on both sides, including the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers. The Central Military Commission (CMC) announced posthumous awards for four PLA soldiers in February 2021, ‘although the number of PRC casualties is unknown’.

Due to the current standoff between the two nations, the first death has occurred in 45 years. Despite agreements to disengage in the spring of 2021, both sides maintain troops along the LAC as negotiations at the Corps Commander level proceed slowly. Multiple unarmed clashes, an ongoing standoff, and military buildups on both sides of the border were attributed to differing perceptions of border demarcations along the LAC and recent infrastructure construction.

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Throughout the standoff, Chinese officials attempted to downplay the seriousness of the crisis, stressing Beijing’s intentions to preserve border stability and prevent the crisis from harming other aspects of its bilateral relationship with India. The PRC wants to prevent border tensions from leading to closer ties between India and the US. While the disengagement negotiations have made limited progress as of June 2021, the PRC and India have maintained large-scale deployments along the LAC and are preparing to sustain these forces.


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