TODAY -

Chinese village in Arunachal Pradesh
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: November 13, 2021 -



The Government of India has finally spoken out on the presence of a new Chinese village squarely within Indian territory, south of the McMohan Line.

A detailed report of the new Chinese village comprising 100 homes was first reported by the NDTV based on satellite imagery of the area way back in January but New Delhi came out with a comment only on November 11 after the Pentagon brought out a report on the US perception of the lingering tension between India and China.

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi was quoted by media as commenting "China has undertaken construction activities in the past several years along the border areas, including in the area that it has illegally occupied over decades. India has neither accepted such illegal occupation of our territory nor has it accepted the unjustified Chinese claims."

This very comment has authenticated the media reports about the establishment of a Chinese village on the banks of Tsari Chu river in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, regardless of whether India has accepted it or not. The rivalry between India and China is an old one and there have been numerous skirmishes between the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA along the Line of Actual Control or LAC in short but construction of a village south of the LAC is a novel mode of incursion.

Only time will tell how New Delhi would respond to this type of incursion which involves civilians for the first time. Putting civilians at the forefront of a conflict zone is a very dangerous strategy.

It is of crucial importance to ascertain whether the village is inhabited or comprises of empty houses, given the disposition of both the countries to flex their muscles at the slightest provocation.

After the tense stand-off at Doklam in June, 2017, the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA were engaged in a bloody skirmish at Galwan Valley in May 2020 which resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and casualties to 43 Chinese soldiers.

The bloody Galwan clash could have been a flash point for a disastrous regional war but it was somehow resolved after several rounds of negotiation.

However, there is a long standing rivalry between the world's two most populous countries and New Delhi and Beijing have been eyeing each other warily for quite some time.

The rivalry between India and China is rooted in their diverse geopolitics and intersecting economic interests or overlapping spheres of influence.

Geopolitical rivalry for influence and domination is intensifying between the two Asian giants in the post-Cold War era.

This contest for regional hegemony between China and India is now glaringly visible in many neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan.

The dispute over the demarcation of their common frontier in the Himalayan foothills, from Kashmir in the West to Arunachal Pradesh in the East is ostensibly a source of serious tension in its own right as reflected in the Pentagon report.

With both China and India showing no intention to budge from their respective positions, the rivalry between the two countries is fast taking the form of sworn enmity.

Border disputes are there everywhere across the world, between every two neighbouring countries. It would be sheer political immaturity if such disputes are allowed to spark any full scale war.

Both China and India need to shed all hawkish policies, cast away domineering postures and adopt a win-win strategy of reconciliation.

A Chinese village in Arunchal Pradesh will certainly complicate things in future so New Delhi needs to act at the highest diplomatic level before it is too late.



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