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China Develops its Border with India: Yume again in the news
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Claude Arpi | Date:09 Jan , 2018 0 Comments
Claude Arpi
Writes regularly on Tibet, China, India and Indo-French relations. He is the author of 1962 and the McMahon Line Saga, Tibet: The Lost Frontier and Dharamshala and Beijing: the negotiations that never were.

Two months ago, I wrote about Yume, the hamlet north of the McMahon (Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh).

At that time,  Xi Jinping had written a letter to two young Tibetan herders who had introduced their village to the Chinese President.

It looks like it is helpful to receive a letter from the President.

The Global Times has reported yesterday: “A sparsely populated township in Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region has been connected to the state electricity grid, ending life without electricity for its 32 residents.”

The village is Yume.

Incidentally, why do China has to always write “China’s Tibet Autonomous Region”. India does not write “India’s Tamil Nadu” or “India’s Uttarakhand” or even “India’s Arunachal”?

Beijing must be feeling insecure.

To come back to The Global Times’ article, it quotes the contractor, a Xining-based electric power company who worked on the project: “The 15-kilometer 10-kilovolt power line, which took five months to complete, is connected to remote Yulmed [Yume] Township in Luntse [Luntse] county, Shannan [Lhoka], via 108 electric poles over a 5,000-meter-high mountain.”

According to the tabloid, Yume (also spelt Yulmed) is located “at an average elevation of 3,650 meters above sea level and its population was once just a three-member household. Currently, it has nine households.”

It is further explained that in 2008, the local government built a small hydropower station, but the project failed to meet the increasing power demands of the 32 residents: “Due to improved living standards and growing need for electricity of the residents, power outages were frequent.”

India’s infrastructure development

While Beijing is going full steam to built infrastructure on its side of the McMahon Line, it complains about India building roads in the border area.

The same Global Times commented on the recent visit of Indian Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Nilang: “An Indian road construction project connecting all border posts along the China-India frontier could lead to new military standoffs between China and India, Chinese experts warned.”

The mouthpiece of the Communist Party quoted The Times of India: “During his New Year visit to the ‘Indo-Tibet Border Police’ at Nelong [Nilang] valley in Uttarkashi district bordering China, Indian Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that a number of border posts had already been connected with roads and many would soon be linked.”

China is unhappy because Singh asserted that “this would enhance the operational efficiency of the officers and reduce mountain-related sickness among them.”

Chinese Double Standards

Of course, China is entitled to do whatever it wants on its side of the border.

China Daily recently reported: “Investment in infrastructure in the Tibet Autonomous Region is helping to lift 628 villages along the border out of poverty.”

It further asserted: “After getting access to electricity and the construction of new roads, tea farmers and herdsmen in a village some 200 kilometers southwest of Lhasa in Tsona county founded a cooperative that provides skills training and job opportunities for villagers.”

Tsona is located north of Tawang district of Arunachal.

The area has been extensively developed. I have mentioned it earlier on this blog.

China admitted: “Starting last year, more than 100 million yuan ($15,263) has been invested in infrastructure in the village of less than 100 families as a part of a broader construction project to build model villages with moderate prosperity in the border area. The construction of well-off villages along the border is designed to advance the living and working conditions in surrounding villages.”

China Daily estimated that the road access rate in the area will reach 100 percent and the per capita disposable income will double by the year of 2020.

Is it not double standard?


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