XIAOKANG BORDER (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     17th February 2024        
output themes

Context: The Chinese people have started occupying several of the country’s model ‘Xiaokang’ border defence villages, along its border with India’s northeastern region.

Xiaokang Border Defence Villages

  • About: China has been building 628 Xiaokang or "well-off villages" along India's borders with the Tibet Autonomous Region for over five years.
  • Structures and Completion: These villages consist mostly of double-storey, spacious buildings, with construction largely completed, according to officials.
  • Dual-use Infrastructure: The purpose of these villages remains unclear, but they are perceived as dual-use infrastructure serving both civil and military functions, raising defense concerns.
  • Strategic Implications: The strategic community sees these villages as a means for China to assert claims over specific areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
  • Contention over LAC: The exact length of the LAC is disputed, with India estimating it at 3,488 km, while China contends it to be approximately 2,000 km.

Has any law been introduced concerning these villages?

  • Implementation of New Law: A new law concerning China's land borders came into effect on January 1, 2022.
  • Legislative Origin: The law was passed in 2021 by the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress.
  • Purpose of the Law: The law aims to safeguard and utilize China's land border areas effectively.

How is India responding to it?

  • Vibrant Villages Programme: The Indian government launched the Vibrant Villages Programme in 2022 to modernize border villages and promote them as tourist destinations.
  • Expansion from BADP: The programme extends and enhances the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) managed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Pilot Project Selection: At least 17 border villages along the China-India border have been chosen for development as a pilot project.
  • Focus on Arunachal Pradesh: In Arunachal Pradesh, villages in the eastern region and the Tawang area, including Zemithang, Taksing, Chayang Tajo, Tuting, and Kibithu, are earmarked for development.
output themes