General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) has contradicted the official position of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday about Chinese construction activities in Arunachal Pradesh's eastern sector. Gen. Rawat stated the Chinese constructions were "well within their side of the LAC (Line of Actual Control)" during a TV channel event.
"They're putting this infrastructure in place, and these so-called villages are well within the LAC's boundaries. They haven't messed with our view of the LAC in any way. Various people have different perspectives," he said.
"We know exactly where the LAC is because we've been instructed that this is your LAC alignment and the territory, you're responsible for defending. Chinese have a perception that we know about in some parts and don't know about in others, because they've never really described where the LAC is based on their perception" he stated. He further went on to add, "As far as we are concerned, there is no such village development that has taken place on our side of the LAC."
Although Gen. Rawat confirmed that China was constructing communities along the Line of Actual Control, he also stated that the "current issue that has erupted that Chinese had crossed into our area and created a new village is not accurate." Notably, in a clear contradiction, earlier this month, the Ministry's official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that India never accepted China's "illegal occupation" of its territories.
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His remark contrasted a statement by the MEA about a recent report from the US Department of Defense, which stated that China "built a 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between the PRC's Tibet Autonomous Region and India's Arunachal Pradesh state sometime in 2020."
"China has undertaken construction activities along with the border areas in the past several years, including in places that it has illegally occupied throughout the decades," Mr. Bagchi added. "Neither the illegal seizure of our territory nor the unjustified Chinese claims have been accepted by India."