Friday, December 23, 2022

Why clear demarcation of LAC is a prerequisite to ensure India and China border peace

A Very Sacred Place: Arunachal Pradesh CM inaugurating a small gompa in the area
My article Why clear demarcation of LAC is a prerequisite to ensure India and China border peace appeared in Firstpost

Here is the link

Unless maps of the different perceptions are exchanged and a Line of Actual Control is agreed upon by both parties, clashes will continue, with the risk of degenerating into a larger armed conflict

It is important to understand how the northern border of India has been delineated. From the end of the 19th century, the main factor for fixing a boundary in the Himalaya, in particular with Tibet, India’s northern neighbour, has been the watershed principle.
During the Simla Conference in 1913-14, Sir Henry McMahon, India’s foreign Secretary and Lonchen Shatra, the Tibetan Prime Minister representing the 13th Dalai Lama, agreed to define the border between their nations; they signed, with seals, a map, today known as the ‘McMahon Line’, though ideally it should be the ‘McMahon-Shatra Line’.
It should be noted that Ivan Chen, the Chinese Plenipotentiary, who was present during the Conference, did not object to the presence of Lonchen Shatra on the same footing as him and India’s Foreign Secretary, and this for months.
Till 1954, when India unnecessarily agreed to the ‘Five Principles of Peaceful Co-Existence’ (Panchsheel), the Line was a peaceful frontier with Tibet; but the ink had not dried on the agreement that it became a ‘disputed’ border with China, with serious consequences for India, which continue to be seen today.
Apart from the watershed, other principles can be used to define a frontier, i.e. rivers running in the area, land tax patterns or grazing rights of the local population; this has been done in some cases.
It is a fact that during the previous centuries, no dispute had taken place with Tibet in the remote Himalayan areas; with the arrival of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on the border at the end of the 1950s, all this changed.

A very old dispute indeed (Chinese map of 1960)
An old dispute
While the first clash with the PLA took place in the Central Sector (Barahoti) in 1954, by mid-1959, soon after the Dalai Lama crossed to India, the Chinese started intruding in the Eastern Sector. Three places soon became ‘disputed’ (today one can count seven); these were Khenzimane, Yangtse and Longju.
It is Maj Bob Khathing, who after touring the area, demarcated the border in the Yangtse sector at the end of 1951. It was later confirmed by a detailed survey in 1954, as well as during tours of Indian officials in the following years; in Yangtse, the border was along the Kanglung Himalayan ridge.
In some cases, the border had to be slightly adjusted with the McMahon Line which, at time was imprecise due to the fast pace McMahon’s surveyors had to work before the Simla Conference and the inadequate equipment available at that time.

No fixed LAC
While China still today claims the entire Arunachal as theirs, the Line of Actual Control (LAC) remains officially undefined.
Maps of the Chinese and Indian perceptions of the LAC were exchanged in 2000 for the Central Sector (Barahoti); maps of the Northern Sector (Ladakh) came on the table for 20 minutes during a joint meeting in 2002, but were later withdrawn as China did not agree to Delhi including Gilgit-Baltistan in India’s territory.
In the case of the Eastern Sector (particularly of Tawang), maps have never been exchanged or even seen. This compounds the present confusion (often to the advantage of Beijing) and reinforces Chinese perceptions.
Sixty-two years later, the 1960 ‘disputed’ places remain ‘hotspots’ and it was expected that a flare-up could take place on any one of this places (one could also add Asaphila in the Upper Subansiri district as a possible point for a future clash).
The last flare-up took place on 9 December in Yangtse.
Indian troops were ready to retaliate
An unofficial report explains that the area under attack has “a commanding view of the ridges and tracks across the LAC deep into Tsona County in Tibet. The PLA were roughly 300 troops.”
It is far more than for their ‘routine’ intrusions.
They used melee weapons with a clear intention to harm the Indian troops holding the area: “Closely placed echelons on the lower ridges and the river valley were quickly able to reinforce the 50 troops firmly facing the PLA onslaught and reinforcements poured in from multiple directions immediately after being radioed.”
The report continues: “What started with abuses and stone pelting gradually progressed to fisticuffs and then fierce hand to hand combat where the PLA troops were overpowered and in some cases their weapons were used against them. This free for all went on until the PLA found itself losing ground with many of their troops overpowered and battered.”
The Chinese troops then started falling back on their side of the LAC.
Interestingly, they left behind some sleeping bags and other equipment which indicates that they had come to stay.

Medieval Weapons
Like in Galwan on 15 June, 2020 (it was Xi Jinping’s birthday), the PLA used melee weapons and shields. This time, the Indian soldiers were ready with the same equipment.
The reason why guns were not used is the “Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the LAC” signed by China and India in September 1993, agreeing to maintain the status quo on their mutual border pending a final solution, as well as the 1996 Agreement on Confidence-Building Measures in the Military Field” on the LAC, which mentioned: “No armed forces deployed by either side in the border areas along the line of actual control as part of their respective military strength shall be used to attack the other side, or engage in military activities that threaten the other side or undermine peace, tranquility and stability in the India-China border areas.”
Can this be considered a positive aspect during in these tense moments?

The gompa at Chumig Gyatse close to the LAC in the same sector

Development of Chumi Yangtse area
Though the Opposition would like to blame the Government for the incident, tremendous efforts have been made by Delhi in the recent years to develop the border areas in this sector and elsewhere.
It is enough to mention the opening of a new gompa (monastery); dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava, who meditated there in the 8th century, it is located a few hundred meters south of the LAC.
The Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Mr Pema Khandu himself walked to this exceptionally sacred place, blessed by 108 waterfalls, to inaugurate the gompa in July 2020.
It has to be noticed that the Chinese did not object to the construction of the gompa and its opening to Indian tourists in July 2020.

Xiaokang village north of the LAC (@NatureDesai)
Xiaokang Village as base?
A rather disturbing news that is China may have used one of the Xiaogang border villages (Beijing has built more than 600 of them, officially, ‘moderately well-off’ villages for the welfare of the local populations) as a base for their operation.
Does it mean that this string of villages on the border can just be used as garrisons for the PLA to launch attack on India?
This issue has to be followed closely by the Indian government (Army and Security agencies).

Xi Jinping abroad
President Xi Jinping was out of China (in Saudi Arabia) when the incident took place. Was he informed about the massive attack on the Indian position? Like when more than one thousand PLA troops intruded in Chumar (Ladakh) in September 2014, while Xi was visiting India?
Informed or not, such an operation needs a high level of clearance, at least from the Central Military Commission in Beijing.

End of the COVID lockdown
The Tibet Region, including the Tibetan Military District, which is responsible for the border, has been under severe (not to say brutal) COVID restrictions since the month of August; it is clear the PLA could not move earlier.
The lockdown had just been lifted when the incident in Yangtse took place and with the winter coming, rendering the logistics more complicated, Beijing had not much choice of options to show India that it has not forgotten the old disputes.
A longer stand-off would have undoubtedly been difficult for the PLA. At the same time, the CMC was probably not expecting such a stiff Indian resistance; it was therefore better for the PLA to withdraw as if nothing ‘big’ had happened.

China will not drop the ‘disputed’ area

In a press statement, Senior Colonel Long Shaohua, the spokesperson for the Western Theater Command in Chengdu claimed that it was the Indian troops who illegally crossed the LAC; he said: “The Chinese troops made a professional, normative and resolute response, bringing the on-site situation under control. Up to now, the Chinese and Indian troops have disengaged,” said the Chinese military officer.
Interestingly, he did not mention that a number of Chinese soldiers were severely injured.
The above means that the intrusions will continue, whether in Yangtse, Sumdorong chu or Asaphila (or in the Fish Tails area in Eastern Arunachal).

The status quo
India’s Defence Minister made a statement in the Parliament; he said: “On 9 December 2022, PLA (People’s Liberation Army of China) troops tried to transgress the LAC in Yangtse area of Tawang Sector and unilaterally change the status quo. The Chinese attempt was contested by our troops in a firm and resolute manner.”
Status Quo is the need of the hour, until a LAC (if not a IB) is agreed upon, the status quo should be respected by both parties.

Need to demarcate the LAC
One way forward could be to hold Ladakh-type talks for the Eastern Sector.
After 16 rounds of talks in Moldo/Chushul, some progress has been made to delineate a LAC, though in two areas (Demchok and Depsang), China has refused to vacate the areas occupied in May 2020.
Unless maps of the different perceptions are exchanged and a LAC is agreed upon by both parties, clashes will continue, with the risk of degenerating into a larger armed conflict.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

 Claude Arpi on China’s Interest in Arunachal Pradesh

My interview with Sudha Ramachandran for The Diplomat: Claude Arpi on China’s Interest in Arunachal Pradesh

Here is the link...

“For Beijing, it is a bargaining chip for an eventual ‘swap’ and the recognition by India of the occupation by China of Aksai Chin.”

Sixty years ago, on November 21, China declared a unilateral ceasefire against India bringing to an end the month-long India-China border war. Of the territory it occupied in the war, China retained control of Aksai Chin in the western sector of the disputed border but, although it took control of almost all of the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) or today’s Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern sector, it withdrew 20 kilometers north of the McMahon Line. The pullback of Chinese forces north of the McMahon Line suggested that China was perhaps not serious about pressing its claims in the eastern sector. However, since the mid-1980s, it has robustly asserted claims over some 90,000 square kilometers of territory in India’s northeast, which roughly approximates the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh or what China calls Southern Tibet.

In a conversation with The Diplomat’s South Asia Editor Sudha Ramachandran, author, historian and Tibetologist Claude Arpi points out that China “has not always claimed” NEFA/Arunachal and that its assertion of claims here is to gain leverage over India in a future border settlement.

When the war ended on November 21, 1962, China retained control of Aksai Chin but pulled back from India’s Northeast. Why?

The two sectors are historically very different.
To understand, it is necessary to go back to the Bandung Conference in 1955. An apparently moderate Zhou Enlai [China’s premier] convinced [Indian Prime Minister] Nehru of the “sincerity” of the Chinese Communist rulers. Writing about his encounter with Zhou at the Conference, Nehru said: “When asked if he wanted to push communism into Tibet, Chou En-lai [Zhou Enlai] laughed and said that there could be no such question as Tibet was very far indeed from communism. It would be thoroughly impracticable to try to establish a communist regime in Tibet and the Chinese Government had no such wish.”
A few days later, the Indian prime minister told the Indian foreign secretary about a remark by the Chinese premier on the McMahon Line: “Although [Zhou] thought that this line, established by British imperialists, was not fair, nevertheless, because it was an accomplished fact and because of the friendly relations which existed between China and the countries concerned, namely, India and Burma, the Chinese Government were of the opinion that they should give recognition to this McMahon Line.”
Five years later, Zhou Enlai visited Delhi and had long talks with Nehru. In an informal encounter with Indian Defense Minister V.K. Krishna Menon,  Zhou explained that in the Western Sector (Aksai Chin) there had never been any delimitation and only an old treaty (of 1842), which did not mention any area; Aksai Chin, he affirmed, had always been part of Sinkiang (today’s Xinjiang) and the [Aksai Chin] road built by China (without India realizing it) was on Chinese territory.
Later, Zhou tested the ground for a “swap”: India would acknowledge Aksai Chin as Chinese and Beijing would recognize the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA or today’s Arunachal Pradesh) as Indian.
One has to understand that for Beijing Aksai Chin was strategically far more important than the NEFA. The road built in the early 1950s linked the two newly-acquired provinces of the People’s Republic of China, Xinjiang and Tibet.
Therefore, for Mao and his colleagues, there was never a question to return Aksai Chin to India. Further, Beijing has argued that the Communists started surveying the Aksai Chin road in 1952, the construction began in 1954/55 and it was inaugurated in 1957; during all these years India did not complain. Delhi only started objecting to Beijing in 1958. For the Chinese leadership, it was proof that the area never belonged to India.
On the opposite end, NEFA saw very few incursions from the Chinese troops south of the McMahon Line (the first one took place in Longju in August 1959). An early incursion had happened in the Walong sector in 1910, but the Chinese troops quickly returned to their barracks north of the watershed.
All this shows that both areas do not have the same strategic importance for the Chinese.
It is probably why China decided to withdraw from the NEFA in 1962.
The eastern sector of the India-China border, depicting the disputed area of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as Southern Tibet. Map by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Chinese claims in NEFA in 1960

Since the mid-1980s, China has been reasserting rights over Arunachal Pradesh. Why the renewed interest in this territory?

During the last few months, Beijing’s propaganda has reiterated that the entire Arunachal Pradesh is part of “Southern Tibet.”
On November 10, Xinhua published a news item: “A 5.6-magnitude earthquake jolted Medog County in Nyingchi City, southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, at 1:01 pm, Beijing Time, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC). The epicenter was monitored at 28.35 degrees north latitude and 94.48 degrees east longitude, with a depth of 10 km, the CENC said.”
The area mentioned is near Likabali in Arunachal Pradesh.
In January 2022, Global Times announced new names of 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh, given with precise coordinates. Eight were residential areas, four were mountains, two were rivers, and one was a mountain pass (Sela). It was the second batch of so-called standardized names of places published by the Chinese government; the first batch of the so-called standardized names of six places in Arunachal was released in 2017. This is part of the propaganda to assert China’s claims.
For Beijing, it is a bargaining chip for an eventual “swap” and the recognition by India of the occupation by China of Aksai Chin.
It is interesting to look into the rationale of the Chinese claim over NEFA/Arunachal. The origin is linked to the creation of the Xikang province. In the 1930s, a Chinese scholar, Ren Naiqiang was encouraged by Liu Wenhui, the governor of Xikang, to produce a map of the area. Though the Chinese had never set foot in the area, the new map included NEFA in the new Chinese province.
In 1939, the Nationalist Government formally established a new province called Xikang (more or less corresponding to Tibet’s Kham province).
At the end of 1949, Ren Naiqiang met Marshal He Long, one of the senior-most generals of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and explained why his map was dependable; the Marshal was convinced and ordered the distribution of copies. On January 10, 1950, He Long sent a report to Mao Zedong strongly recommending that Ren’s map should be accepted and circulated amongst the PLA. It is after this episode that Beijing started claiming NEFA as Chinese. This shows that China has not always claimed NEFA.

Why is Tawang important to China?

Maj Bob Khathing in February 1951 in Tawang
China has never officially accepted the existence of the Tibetan exile government. If India would return Tawang to China (including the monastery), it would be a denial by Delhi that the 1914 Indo-Tibet border agreement and the McMahon Line ever existed.
The fact remains that the border agreement of March 1914 had been signed with official seals by the Foreign Secretary of India (Sir Henry McMahon) and the Prime Minister of Tibet (Lochen Shatra).
It is also true that monastic taxes in the area were being collected by Tibetan officials till February 1951, when the expedition led by Maj. Bob Khathing took over the Tawang administration.
But taxes paid by a monastery do not amount to ownership certificates. Several monasteries in the Indian Himalaya have been affiliated with large monasteries in Tibet; it does not mean that these monasteries belong to China.
Another factor is that the Sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, was born in Urgyeling, south of Tawang. It is another pretext for China to claim the area. But the fact that a religious leader is born on a foreign territory is not legally considered a valid argument to claim ownership of the country (or the area where the leader is born).
Not often mentioned are the bitter relations existing between the Monpas and the Tibetans till the arrival of Major Khathing. In 1938, when Captain Lightfoot, the Assistant Political Officer (APO) in Balipara (Assam) visited Tawang, he noted: “Our visit raised hopes that they might be relieved of the Tibetan yoke but there was grave uneasiness at our departure lest they should be punished for the help they had given us… Tibetan domination is loathed by the Monpaas and is intolerable by any civilized standards.”
The APO observed that forced labor and extortion of supplies, failure by the Tibetans to protect the Monpas, payment of tribute at rates bearing no relation to the ability of villagers to pay, and finally a brutal and unspeakably corrupt judicial system made the local Monpas believe that they were “liberated” by Major Khathing and his Assam Rifles from the Tibetan yoke in 1951.
India has improved connectivity and military infrastructure along the LAC in the eastern sector. How does it match up to infrastructure on the Chinese side?
Because of the nature of the terrain, India will never match China in terms of infrastructure, but since a few years, the mindset of the government has changed and serious efforts have been made, if not to at least “catch up” to have a decent infrastructure to the border districts/circles in India.
To give a few examples, Hollongi Greenfield Airport, also called Donyi Polo Airport, near Itanagar, serving Arunachal’s capital has recently been opened.
On November 2, a Dornier D-28 aircraft landed at the Ziro Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in the Lower Subansiri district; commercial operations are expected to start soon. The 17-seater aircraft was operated by Alliance Air. ATR-72 and Dornier D-228 are already operational at Pasighat (Assam) and Tezu airports.
Arunachal Pradesh now has four airports (Itanagar, Ziro, Pasighat, and Tezu) and nine ALGs at Aalo, Mechuka, Pasighat, Tawang Air Force Station, Tuting, Vijaynagar, Walong, Ziro, and Daporijo. Several helipads have also been built near the McMahon Line.
While most of the existing roads have been improved, for example between Tezpur in Assam and Tawang, many new ones closer to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) have been built. Further, the traffic on the Bomdila-Tawang road will greatly improve with the opening of the tunnel under the Sela pass at the end of the year.
Even the last post in the Upper Subansiri district (in Maja), will soon be connected.
But first and foremost, what has changed is the mindset. A few years ago, one often heard: “We don’t need good roads, if the Chinese come again, they will break their vehicles on our poorly-maintained tracks.”
Today, the Arunachal Pradesh government as well as the Indian Army understand the necessity of dual-use infrastructure, not only for defending the border, but also helping the remote villages to survive.

Could you throw light on India’s “Vibrant Villages” scheme? What underlies the development of these villages?

To understand the “Vibrant Villages” scheme one has to look at the other side of the McMahon Line.
The Sixth Tibet Work Forum (TWF), held in Beijing on August 24 and 25, 2015 was a turning point for the Tibetan plateau. Tibet Work Forums are large meetings called every 5 to 10 years to discuss the Chinese Communist Party’s Tibet policies. They are attended by all the members of the powerful Politburo Standing Committee, members of the Central Committee, or senior PLA generals. The Sixth Forum decided to tackle poverty and develop Xiaokang (“moderately well-off”) villages on the plateau.
In 2017, soon after the conclusion of the 19th Congress, President Xi Jinping wrote a letter to two young Tibetan herders who had written to him introducing their village, Yume, north of the Upper Subansiri district. Xi “encouraged a herding family in Lhuntse County …to set down roots in the border area, safeguard the Chinese territory and develop their hometown.” Soon after, Yume became a model village for more than 600 Xiaokang villages, a large number located close to the Indian border.
The “Vibrant Villages” is a response to hundreds of Xiaokang villages, which have mushroomed on the Tibetan plateau. In India, they are also meant to tackle another genuine problem: large-scale migration from the border areas.
According to the Central Government’s announcement, India plans to open the villages along the Chinese border for tourists.: “The activities will include construction of village infrastructure, housing, tourist centers, road connectivity, provisioning of decentralized renewable energy, direct-to-home access for Doordarshan and educational channels, and support for livelihood generation.”
The government’s objectives are clear: “to enhance infrastructure in villages along India’s border with China, in states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Arunachal Pradesh.”
Like in Tibet, the scheme is based on the premise that the border areas will be opened to tourists, which will provide the economic backbone for the scheme. Several measures to remove/relax the Inner Line Permit system and other restrictions have already been taken, in Ladakh in particular.
If successful, it should give a boost to the local economy and benefit the populations living in these remote, largely inaccessible border areas. It will also enhance the defense preparedness of the Indian defense forces, which can use the newly created infrastructure

Thursday, December 15, 2022

We are well prepared for any eventualities: Pema Khandu

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu pays tribute to Veer Jawans
of the 5 Assam Rifles at the Chhetri War Memorial
near Tulung La pass at the India-Tibet border
 The first part of my interview with Pema Khandu, the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh 'We are well prepared for any eventualities' appeared in

'Guarding the borders in extreme weather conditions is not easy and most people don't realise it is a very tough job.'

In April 2011, Dorjee Khandu, the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, died in tragic circumstances in a helicopter crash.
Soon after, his elder son Pema succeeded him as the MLA of Mukto in Tawang district; he was then only 32 years old.
Five years later, on July 17, 2016, after a long period of confusion in the state, Pema Khandu took oath as the chief minister; soon after, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.
During the 2019 legislative assembly elections, Khandu won a landslide victory with 41 seats out of 60 for the BJP alone.
Under Khandu's leadership, the border state found badly needed stability which helped putting Arunachal Pradesh on fast track development, while preserving its own genius.
At a time when China social media is buzzing with threats of military action against Arunachal (with various verified or unverified handles releasing videos and photos of People's Liberation Army troops training close to the Indian border), Arunachal Pradesh's dynamic 42-year-old chief minister answers Claude Arpi's questions.
He speaks of the 'Philosophy of Arunachal', his visits to the troops posted at the LAC, but also of the development of the infrastructure, his vision for 'Low Volume High Value' (including spiritual) tourism and the importance of ecology for the entire Himalaya.
He concludes by putting on record that Arunachal Pradesh does not share any direct border with China, but only with Tibet; it is indeed the best answer to Beijing, who without any historical basis, continues to claim the entire Indian State.

The first of an exclusive two-part interview:

For decades the 'Philosophy of NEFA' has been the guiding policy for what is today Arunachal Pradesh (as well as the North-East in general).
It may have helped to preserve the tribal culture but it did not take care of the borders when India was attacked.
Do you have today a 'Philosophy of Arunachal'? If yes, can you elaborate?

The 'Philosophy of NEFA' propounded by Verrier Elwin included facilitating the local population to develop on their own genius, respecting tribal rights in land and forests and respecting the social and cultural institutions.
These contours are honoured even today.
But there is a significant change in the Government of India's approach to the northeast region, where earlier a Union government's minister coming even to Guwahati used to become news.
Today we have five ministers in the Union council of ministers from the northeast region, including a Cabinet minister from Arunachal Pradesh.
Every month we have visits from the Union government bringing in some important development scheme for the people.
This signifies a major shift in the mindset and the confidence of New India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Developing our border areas and securing territorial integrity is the priority of our government both at the Centre and state.
The 'Philosophy of Arunachal Pradesh' is the same as the 'Philosophy of New India' which comes with the awareness of where we stand today and what we wish to achieve.
We care about the last person standing in the queue and our aspirations are not limited by our past.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu with Indian Army jawans on the occasion
of 22nd Kargil Vijay Diwas in Tawang

The media has lately reported your visits to forward posts and your interactions with jawans and officers.
Tell us about your motivations. And also about the importance of these visits. Should it be emulated by other CMs in other border states?

My father served in the Indian Army and having been born and lived most part of my life in the border region of Tawang district in India, I have seen the life of our security forces very closely.
Guarding the borders in extreme weather conditions is not easy and most people don't realise it is a very tough job.
By visiting our forces in the forward posts, I am only paying a humble tribute to them for the immense sacrifice they are making for our great nation.
I know many other leaders in our country who too visit border regions.
Visiting my uniformed brothers in forward posts is a very personal motivation and if other leaders and common people in other states too emulate it, would be a wonderful gesture.
I welcome fellow countrymen to come and visit forward posts of Arunachal Pradesh and understand the tough life of security forces and common citizens of the state.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu at Chuna with Indian Army soldiers.

Many in India believe that one should change the narrative of the 1962 War with China, in the sense that India did well in many areas (in the Walong sector for example). Do you plan to do something to change this 'defeat' narrative?

1962 is in the past, We have learned many things and is well prepared for any future eventualities.
I fully agree that the Walong sector triumph of our armed forces is under reported.
No matter what, the people of Arunachal Pradesh stand resolutely behind the armed forces.
Yes, We are developing the sites of the 1962 war as memorials in Tawang as well as the Walong area, it is an emotional feeling just to be present at those sites and experience the valour of the soldiers who fought then.
All these will tell the story, as it happened.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu with movie star Salman Khan.

China is building infrastructure on the other side of the border. For example, a new large airport is coming up in Lhuntse Dzong in Lhoka (Shannan); the train has reached Nyingchi, and the G219 (Aksai Chin road) to Tsari area and all along India's northern border?
What are you doing to counter this? What are Arunachal Pradesh's achievements in this field.

Our Prime Minister Narendra Modiji in the speech at the UN General Assembly had said, 'Democracy can deliver, Democracy has delivered.'
People of India and Arunachal Pradesh don't want to emulate any 'model of development' that tramples the liberty and culture of the local people.
Indian democracy isn't a 'one size fits all' model.
We are working towards providing amenities to the people in the border areas.
We are working aggressively to expand our road, rail and air network, improving communication networks and developing infrastructure to improve health and education status of our people.
The case in point is the Bogibheel bridge and the Dhola-Sadiya bridge which were pending for decades, it used to take hours to cross the Brahmaputra then.
Today because of the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the bridges got completed in record pace and can be crossed in minutes.
We will get our first airport in 2022 in Itanagar whose foundation was laid in 2019.
The Trans Arunachal Highway (about 1,600 km) is almost under completion and the Sela tunnel will make year-round travel to Tawang easy.
Eight new ALGs have become functional and around 1,000 new 4G towers are being installed in addition to the ongoing optical fibre projects to enhance digital connectivity.
All foothill areas will be connected with a rail network soon.
Surveys are being conducted to bring rail connectivity to Bame and high altitude areas like Tawang as well.
The list is long, yet our model of Compassionate Governance will have NO Match.