New Delhi: China is actively expanding its network of model villages, known as ‘Xiaokang’ or moderately prosperous villages, along the Middle and Eastern sectors of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), according to The Hindu. The report adds that new posts are being established approximately six-seven kilometres away from the LAC in the Middle sector, while the frequency of patrolling has also significantly increased in certain areas.
The Chinese are “building villages at a rapid pace, sometimes as many as 300-400 houses in multi-storey blocks within 90-100 days” near Barahoti in Uttarakhand. This area was the site of previous face-offs between the Indian and Chinese armies, the newspaper said, quoting an anonymous source.
The 3,488-kilometre LAC is divided into Western (Ladakh), Middle (Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand), and Eastern (Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh) sectors.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s patrols are now occurring every 15 days, compared to once every three-four months earlier, the report says.
“Construction of a likely border settlement village was observed northwest of Tholing area and a military complex is also under construction close by. Superstructures of buildings in both the locations are complete,” a second source told The Hindu.
In the Easter sector, in Arunachal Pradesh’s Kameng area, China has established two villages that accommodated around 200 inhabitants, and there is a military complex adjacent to it. The Hindu said that a significant number of ‘Xiaokang’ villages are under construction along the LAC, including in the Chumbi valley which faces the strategically crucial ‘Siliguri corridor’.
The source told the newspaper that India has “almost reached parity in terms of roads and other infrastructure in the Middle sector”. The Indian Army has also inducted new technology along the LAC to enhance surveillance and operational capabilities.
Since the stand-off in eastern Ladakh in April 2020, the PLA’s transgressions have been more frequent and the number of troops entering the region has also increased, The Hindu reported.