There has been no visible incursion or encroachment of land in Arunachal Pradesh by China since 1962, a senior BJP leader in the state has claimed after a tour to the last villages and outposts along the line of actual control (LAC).

Arunachal Pradesh shares a disputed 1,129 km border with China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region. The LAC demarcates the disputed border between India and China.

BJP’s state vice-president Tarh Tarak had led the ‘Seema Yatra’ (border tour) comprising 10 party leaders. Local party leaders joined in each leg of the tour that started on December 22 from Anjaw sector and ended in Tawang sector on April 24.

“During our border tour of more than four months, we interacted with the Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel along the LAC and residents of the border villages. We came to know that the situation on the border is normal and peaceful,” he claimed.

“There is no visible encroachment of our state’s land by the Chinese soldiers. But members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army sometimes enter our territory by mistake during long-range patrols along the LAC, which is challenged by our Indian soldiers,” Tarak said, adding that this happens as the border between the two Asian giants is not clearly defined.

A senior Army official, however, said cases of low-impact incursions have been reported in the eastern and western parts of Arunachal Pradesh in recent times. “Our soldiers thwarted their attempts,” an Army officer said, seeking anonymity.

“We decided to conduct the tour after Indian and Chinese troops clashed along the LAC at Yangtse, in Tawang sector on 09.12.22, which created a hue and cry throughout the country. Our aim was to salute the armed forces guarding the border in harsh conditions and also to physically visit the border outposts and know the ground reality,” Tarak said.

He said the tour gave the BJP team an idea about the problems faced by the people living in the border areas and the status of implementation of various central and state Govt schemes.

Some soldiers of both countries sustained minor injuries during the December 9 clash in the Tawang sector. Both sides, however, disengaged from the area immediately.

A similar incident took place in October 2021 when a large Chinese patrol team was detained for a few hours by the Indian Army near Yangtse.

China claims some 90,000 sqkm of Arunachal Pradesh as its territory. It calls the area ‘Zangnan’ in Chinese language and makes repeated references to Arunachal as ‘South Tibet’. Chinese maps show Arunachal Pradesh as part of China, and sometimes refer to it as ‘so-called Arunachal Pradesh’.

On April 2, the Chinese Govt released a list of “standardised” names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh in Chinese, Tibetan and pinyin characters, acting in accordance with regulations on geographical names issued by the State Council, the equivalent of the Chinese Cabinet.