Amid the ongoing India-China standoff at eastern Ladakh, China has constructed a new village consisting of 101 homes, approximately 4.5 kilometres within the Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh, as reported by NDTV on Monday, citing satellite images accessed by it.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, while India contests it.
The village, which is located on the banks of the River Tsari Chu, lies in the Upper Subansiri district, an area along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) a disputed area between India and China, and an area marked by armed conflict.
In the most recent two satellite images provided by Planet Labs, NDTV reported that the village had been built sometime in the past 15 months. The first image is dated August 26, 2019 - which does not show any construction activity, while the second image, which is the latest one, dated November 1, 2020 depicts the village with thousands of rows of small and medium-sized structures as well as roads.
Reacting to these reports, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Monday said in a statement that India has kept a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India's security. It also mentions that it has stepped up border infrastructure including the construction of roads and bridges.
This development comes as Indian and Chinese soldiers continue to confront each other in their deadliest clash in decades, thousands of kilometers away in the Western Himalayas in Ladakh. In June 2020, thousands of Indian soldiers were killed in a clash in the Galwan Valley, while China has still never publicly stated how many casualties have occurred due to that incident. The stand-off in Ladakh continues through the icy winters as thousands of soldiers from both sides remain deployed at the frontline at sub-zero temperatures and extreme altitudes.