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China 'Biggest Security Threat' for India: Chief of Defense Staff Bipin Rawat

A trust deficit has posed an obstacle in the resolution process between India and China, the defense chief said.

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China has become India’s biggest security security threat, said Chief of Defense Staff Bipin Rawat on Thursday, 11 November.

India has positioned a large number of military personnel along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between Indian and Chinese territories, which will remain there for a long time, the General Rawat told Bloomberg. A trust deficit and mounting suspicion have become obstacles in the resolution process between the countries, he added.

Alluding to the recent report by US's Pentagon about a Chinese village being built in Arunchal Pradesh, Rawat was quoted by Bloomberg as saying:

“The Chinese are building villages, possibly for billeting and locating their civilians or for the military in the future all along the LAC, particularly after the recent face offs that we’ve had."

Rawat's comments come at a time when the Ministry of External Affairs has also raised the issue of Chinese settlement on Indian land.

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'India Will Not Accept Illegal Occupation': MEA

While referring to a Pentagon report that mentions a 100-home Chinese village in Arunachal Pradesh, foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday said, "China has undertaken construction activities in the past several years along the border areas, including in the areas that it has illegally occupied over decades. India has neither accepted such illegal occupation of our territory nor has it accepted the unjustified Chinese claims”, NDTV reported.

Bagchi added that the government will continue to convey this to Beijing as it has before.

Expert analysis of satellite images from 1 November 2020, according to NDTV, had confirmed in January this year, that the construction is approximately 4.5 kilometre within the Indian territory of the de facto border.

A report by the US Department of Defence had found that, "Sometime in 2020, the PRC (People's Republic of China) built a large 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between the PRC's Tibet Autonomous Region and India's Arunachal Pradesh state in the eastern sector of the LAC."

(With inputs from NDTV and Bloomberg)

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