How China’s Belt and Road strategy threatens India
In June 2017 Chinese troops were spotted extending a road through a strip of land disputed between China and Bhutan. India perceived this as an unacceptable change to the status quo and crossed its own border—in this case a perfectly settled one—to block those works. The Doklam plateau slopes down to the Siliguri Corridor, a narrow strip of Indian territory dividing the Indian mainland from its North Eastern states. Were China able to block off the corridor it would isolate India’s North Eastern region from the rest of the country, a devastating scenario in the event of war.
Colonel Vinayak Bhat served in the Indian Army for over thirty years. He was a satellite imagery analyst, stationed in high altitude areas, where he also attended border personnel meetings as a Mandarin interpreter. I asked him why he thought Beijing was so determined to establish control over the Doklam plateau. After . . .