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China actively constructing villages along border with Bhutan

08:10 PM Feb 20, 2024 IST | NE NOW NEWS
UpdateAt: 05:47 PM Feb 20, 2024 IST
china actively constructing villages along border with bhutan

GUWAHATI: China is reportedly continuing with the construction of border villages in the disputed territory with Bhutan, despite ongoing border talks between the two nations.

According to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, at least three villages have been constructed in the mountainous region that separates the two countries, with some villages doubling in size.

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The rapid expansion of these villages began as part of a poverty alleviation scheme but also serves a dual national security purpose, according to officials from the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

In a remote Himalayan village within a disputed border zone, 18 new Chinese residents were seen entering their newly built homes, each carrying a framed portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

This event occurred on December 28, as reported by the Tibet Federation of Industry and Commerce.

The Tamalung village, one of at least three villages built by China inside the disputed zone, saw rapid expansion, with its size doubling in the latter half of 2023.

Satellite imagery captured by US-based Maxar Technologies shows 147 new houses constructed to accommodate 235 households, in addition to the existing 70 homes.

China's efforts to build well-furnished villages along its borders with both India and Bhutan have continued despite ongoing border discussions.

This includes the border with Bhutan, where a “Cooperation Agreement” was signed between the two countries last year regarding the responsibilities and functions of a joint technical team on boundary delimitation and demarcation.

While China has resolved boundary disputes with many neighbouring countries, India and Bhutan remain exceptions.

China's attempts to establish diplomatic ties with Bhutan and expedite border negotiations have been complicated by various factors, including China's claim over Doklam in 2017, which led to a standoff with India.

The villages built by China, under the guise of poverty alleviation, also serve as strongholds to bolster national security.

Gyalaphug, another border village east of Tamalung, also doubled in size, with new homes constructed alongside existing dwellings.

These villages, initially established as part of Xi's poverty alleviation campaign, now serve both as modern housing and as defences along the border, reflecting directives from the highest levels of the Communist Party.