China’s New Border Villages Are of Concern, Says Eastern Army Commander Lt. Gen. Manoj Pande
The new villages built by China along the Indian border are cause for concern, said Lt. Gen. Manoj Pande, the commanding general officer of the Eastern Command, according to reports.
China has built around 600 border defense villages along the border with India in Tibet, along with the necessary infrastructure to support them. Most of this infrastructure is dual-use in nature, meaning it can be used for both civilian and military purposes.
China’s construction of border villages has been taken into account by the Indian military when planning operations, Lt. Gen. Pande said.
The statement comes just days after he said the Indian military was working with the government of Arunachal Pradesh to develop model villages along the border with Tibet.
“We have proposed a border village initiative, in which we have identified three to four villages, which we intend to develop as model villages,” Pande told reporter Nitin Gokhale in an interview.
The Arunachal, in its budget earlier this year, announced that it will develop three model villages along the border with Tibet, with plans to expand the program to other border villages in the future. An allocation of Rs 30 crore has also been made for this purpose by the state in its budget.
Since 2017, the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) has built 628 border defense villages along its border with India and Bhutan.
China’s border consolidation project, aimed at asserting its territorial claims against India and Bhutan, is sanctioned by the highest echelons of the CCP, including President Xi Jinping, who mentioned border security and development border infrastructure in several speeches related to Tibet.
During a visit to Tibet earlier this year, which began in the town of Nyingchi – near the Indian border in Arunachal Pradesh, President Xi said: “There is a need to strengthen the construction of border infrastructure and encourage people of all ethnic groups to take root at the border, keep the country and build their hometowns.
“Strengthen border areas, do a good job on the four major issues of stability, development, ecology and strong borders,” he added.
By the time China completes the current phase of the border villages program, it has reportedly moved more than 240,000 people to the border.
The population of the border areas of Tibet has increased by 10.5%, Wu Yingjie, CPC Tibet secretary, revealed in August at an event marking the 70th anniversary of the “peaceful liberation of Tibet.”
As China settles new residents in border areas, villages on the Indian side of the border have seen unprecedented emigration.
In Uttarakhand, for example, more than 185 villages in three border districts of Tibet – Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Pithoragarh – were added to the list of “completely depopulated” villages in seven years between 2011 and 2018. Nine of these villages are located at an aerial distance of 5 km from the limit.
India has tried to build an effective response to the consolidation of the Chinese border in Tibet. Ladakh’s decision to remove the domestic line permit requirement for domestic tourists to visit restricted areas near the actual Line of Control is also seen as a response to the CCP’s border consolidation plan along the border. Indian.
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