Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

China ramps up military presence along ‘hotly disputed’ border with key US ally

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun6,2024

China has been building additional dual-use villages along the border with a key United States ally, according to a new report.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) claimed Beijing has expanded its military presence in the villages of Mofajiduncun, Yarao, Kuiqiongmen and Zhuangnan.

Satellite images from geospatial data provider Sentinel Hub showed the exponential expansion of facilities in the village of Yarao, just north of the border between China and India.

CSIS’s report said: “In the desolate and inhospitable Himalayas, China is constructing and expanding hundreds of ‘xiaokang’ villages along its hotly disputed border with India.”

The villages border the Indian region of Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as part of ‘South Tibet‘.

The two countries fought a bloody war in 1962 to assert their claims over the border region, with India maintaining control over the area despite China’s ongoing territorial demands.

According to CSIS, Beijing has built approximately 624 new villages near the Indian border between 2018 and 2022.

Geopolitical analysts have argued the construction of dual-use villages along the border could be part of Beijing’s “grey-zone” tactic to put pressure on India without declaring war.

They also warned the expanded villages could house garrisons China would be able to use to launch offensives along the border.

Retired Indian general Rakesh Sharma told Newsweek: “In the area of these four locations these have largely a military character as a step-up for military operations towards the three valleys in Arunachal Pradesh.

“It’s a kind of geostrategic pressure, a threat in being that would tie down Indian armed forces. Adding to the entire border, geopolitical pressure is being built up.”

The current villages are home to Tibetan herders brought to the region as part of a government scheme to boost their income but Chinese residents from elsewhere in the country are also encouraged to relocate.

Tensions between India and China have remained high, and while military patrols are forbidden from carrying firearms, the ban has not prevented clashes along the border.

In December 2022, Chinese and Indian soldiers were embroiled in a brutal fistfight that resulted in at least 80 military personnel being injured.

India claimed it had responded to an incursion of Chinese soldiers into the mutually contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two nations.

Beijing, however, disputed the account and said its troops came under attack while carrying out normal patrol duties.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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