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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

Road construction along India-China border

(29 October 2014)

India plans to build an over-£4 billion road near the disputed border with China in Arunachal Pradesh state, according to local authorities. India's junior home minister Khiren Rijiju stated that the road would be constructed in order to boost economic development in the mountainous region, but Indian military officials also confirmed to the BBC that the road will improve Indian defence forces.

Chinese officials critiqued India’s plans for road construction. Chinese foreign office spokesperson Hong Lei noted that the road may “complicate” the boundary dispute, and Kong Can of the Yunnan Development Research Institute maintained that it would be “unfair to build a road in a disputed territory.”

Analysts argue that India’s plans are a reaction to Chinese infrastructure development in Tibet. China has built highways, five airports, and an existing rail network in Tibet and has proposed a new rail network for Nyingchi, close to the border with Arunachal Pradesh state.

China and India went to war over their boundary dispute in 1982, and the boundary adjacent to Arunachal Pradesh state is not yet demarcated. Representatives of the two countries have held 17 rounds of talks to resolve the disputed boundary. During a September 2014 meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the two leaders supported a quick resolution to the dispute.

Sources:

Why India is planning a new road near the China border, 16 October 2014, by Subir Bhaumik, BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-29639950

China expresses concern about India's plan to build road along border in Arunachal, 15 October 2014, The Economic Times, http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-10-15/news/55059221_1_nyingchi-border-issue-border-dispute