Even as the standoff with India in Ladakh continues, China has silently been setting up villages near the India-Bhutan border and populating them.

Satellite imagery has emerged exposing China's attempts to occupy and stake claim to uninhabited stretches on its disputed borders with India and Bhutan. 

Media reports citing experts said that the move could be part of Beijing's attempts to cement its territorial claims.

Imagery shared by the open-source intelligence analyst who uses the name @detresfa on Twitter showed what appeared to be five new border villages built near Bum La, the border pass located between Cona county in Tibet Autonomous Region and Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh.

 

 

In a tweet, @detresfa said there is evidence of "new villages and accommodation similar to what was seen in Pangda village, Bhutan" in the vicinity of Bum La. The relocation of people to these villages "promises China with better border surveillance and patrols through a network of herders", the tweet said.