Chinese armed forces are developing infrastructure along the international border in Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian Army said on Monday, PTI reported.
“The other side [China] is constantly upgrading their road, rail and air connectivity as well as 5G mobile network so that they are in a better position to respond to a situation or mobilise forces,” said Lieutenant General RP Kalita, the general officer commanding-in-vhief of the Eastern Command.
This is not the first time that China is building infrastructure near Arunachal Pradesh. In November, satellite images showed that China has constructed a cluster of at least 60 buildings in Arunachal Pradesh. In January, another set of satellite images showed that China had constructed a new village consisting of 101 homes, approximately 4.5 kilometres within the Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh. It has also conducted several drills along the border over the year.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, while India contests it.
On Monday, Kalita said that India is also upgrading its infrastructure to handle the rising tensions.
“The eastern border has numerous challenges,” he said. “We have displayed exemplary professionalism and bravery. The last year has been extremely eventful and we have been rising up to meet all challenges.”
Stand-offs between India and China have resulted from the poor demarcation of the boundary, especially along the McMohan Line, he added.
“It has created different perceptions of the border between India and China that are not agreed upon by both sides,” Kalita said, reported PTI. “While most of the time, we handle the situation through existing mechanisms, at times it has led to frictions.”
McMahon Line is the demarcation between Tibet and India’s North East, which New Delhi believes marks the boundary between India and China. But this is disputed by Beijing.
Tensions have been brewing between India and China since their troops clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China put the number of casualties on its side at four. Since the violent face-off, the two countries have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks to reduce tensions.