22 September, 2020

Chink In The Checker’s Board

The Doklam plateau is an area of vulnerability for China and India. The Chinese action is the usual creeping barrage of aggression and presenting faits accomplis.

On Patrol
A PLA soldier at the Nathu La pass, on the Sino-Indian border
Photograph by AP
Chink In The Checker’s Board
outlookindia.com
2017-07-18T10:10:56+05:30

India has had a long history of standoffs with China, given their long and unsettled border. On one occasion it has led to war, on others, skirmishes and artillery duels. But in the past 40 years, the confrontations have been carefully choreographed through a series of Confidence Building Measures to ensure that the two countries do not end up shooting at each other.

What makes the current clash in Doklam plateau serious is its location, and the fact that it is entangled with the issues of a third country, Bhutan. The location is near the Siliguri Corridor, a narrow neck of land, just about 25 km at places, bound by Nepal and Bangladesh and proximate to Bhutan and China.

As distances go, Siliguri, the principal rail, air and road hub that connects Northeast India to the rest of India, is just 8 km from Bangladesh, 40 km from Nepal, 60 km from Bhutan and 150 km from China. With China seeking to expand control over the Dok­­lam plateau, it shortens the distance by 20 kms or so.

Chinese proximity comes through the Chumbi Valley, a sliver of land between...

unsub

THIS ARTICLE IS PRICELESS...

To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.


Latest Magazine

September 28, 2020
content

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section