New Delhi: China has reportedly set up at least three villages near Arunachal Pradesh, a report by NDTV said on Sunday. If the report is to be believed, the villages have been constructed near the tri-junction between India, China and Bhutan in western Arunachal Pradesh.Also Read - Don't Need Lessons From 'Failed State': India Hits Out at Pak, OIC For Raising Kashmir Issue at UNHRC

Notably, the India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control, the de-facto border between the two countries. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of south Tibet which is firmly rejected by India. Amid this, the construction could be seen as an attempt by China to reinforce its territorial claims. Also Read - Ease Travel Restrictions: India Urges Australia to Address Difficulties Being Faced by Its Students

The report by the leading news channel said that these said villages were constructed when Indian and Chinese soldiers were engaged in Ladakh dispute. Also Read - Young People More Vulnerable to Heart Diseases in India, Says Study

“China has been using a strategy of settling Han Chinese and Tibetan members of the Communist Party along the India border to strengthen its territorial claims and escalate border intrusions,” NDTV quoted China-watcher Dr. Brahma Chellaney as saying. Both the countries have already been locked in a bitter dispute in Ladakh, the breakthrough for which hasn’t been achieved so far despite multiple high-level talks.

This new setup by China comes days after reports said that it had occupied part of Bhutan by setting up a village 2 km within latter’s territory. The village was said to be close to Doklam, which saw a military border standoff between the armies of India and and China in 2017. However, Bhutan later denied the reports. Speaking to news agency ANI, Bhutan Ambassador to India had said, “There is no Chinese village inside Bhutan.”