New Delhi: India on Thursday slammed the reported construction of a border village by China in Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh that has been under Chinese occupation for more than 60 years. New Delhi said that China has been carrying out construction activity in border areas, including in Indian territory illegally occupied for decades, adding that India “has always conveyed its strong protest to such activities through diplomatic means and will continue to do so in the future”. New Delhi added that “India has neither accepted such illegal occupation of our territory nor has it accepted the unjustified Chinese claims”.
According to media reports early this year, the border village built by China is in the territory that has been under Chinese occupation since 1959 and is located on the banks of the river Tsari Chu in the Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh. The issue hit the headlines again recently after the construction was referred to in a US government report. China does not recognise Arunachal Pradesh as part of India and covets about 90,000 sq. kms of the state and refers to it as “South Tibet”.
In response to a query at his weekly media briefing on Thursday evening, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We have taken note of the US department of defence’ report to US Congress which inter-alia also makes a reference to construction activities by Chinese side along the India-China border areas particularly in the Eastern Sector. Reports had also appeared in the media earlier this year on this issue. As we had stated then, China has undertaken construction activities in the past several years along the border areas, including in the areas that it has illegally occupied over the decades. India has neither accepted such illegal occupation of our territory nor has it accepted the unjustified Chinese claims.”
He added, “The government has always conveyed its strong protest to such activities through diplomatic means and will continue to do so in the future. Further, as conveyed earlier, the government has also stepped up border infrastructure including the construction of roads, bridges etc, which has provided much-needed connectivity to the local population along the border.
The government remains committed to the objective of creating infrastructure along the border areas for the improvement of livelihood of its citizens, including in Arunachal Pradesh. Government keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India's security and takes all the necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”