Is Chinese army 'cultivating' villagers along its border with India for help in potential conflicts?

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Feb 08, 2022, 07:51 PM(IST)

File Photo Photograph:( Reuters )

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The effort is being seen as attempt by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) to forge close ties with Tibetan villagers near Line of Actual Control with India

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) is reportedly attempting to build a rapport with Tibetan population along Line of Actual Control (LAC) in efforts to boost its border capabilities. These efforts even include deployment of PLA cooks to teach Tibetan families how to cook 'Chinese dishes', according to reports.

The development was mentioned in a report of an official Chinese portal, said the reports. The report was about situation in a Chinese village by the name of Yumai. It is China's last big border village located just kilometres from Upper Subansiri district in India's Arunachal Pradesh. The village is part of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

The PLA's courting of the villagers is being seen as part of a strategy to ensure they are on China's side in case of a border conflict with India.

In 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping had written a letter to Tibetan herders in the village. In the letter, Xi mentioned herders being 'guardians of Chinese territory'. He also said that he hoped that herders will 'motivate' others.

Now, Chinese Army appears to have taken steps in this direction, going by the developments mentioned in the report. Chinese soldiers have been instructed to call on the elderly in Yumai village to look to their general comfort and safety. Cooks from Chinese Army are teaching Tibetan household to cook 'Chinese' dishes. 

The report says that even five 'homestays' have been set up for tourists. These rooms have wifi, oxygen generators and TVs. Military doctors visit the village twice a week to tend to the sick.

The 'three-person township' expanded to one having 20 residents in 1999 and 30 in 2009. As per reports in Chinese media, the village has 200 residents now.

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