Hidden agenda behind China-India Himalayan showdown | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Hidden agenda behind China-India Himalayan showdown

As Chinese and Indian security forces square off on a remote plateau in the Himalaya mountains, it is has become clear over two months into the showdown that it’s not really about China building a road in an area disputed between China and Bhutan.

This time, China is attempting to drive a wedge between Bhutan and its traditional ally India, China’s main and traditional geopolitical rival. Most recently, China is frustrated with India’s reluctance to join its One Belt One Road infrastructure development initiative. Unresolved border issues are another bilateral problem, as is the long-time presence of the Dalai Lama and his Tibetan government in exile in India.

As always when China is involved in a confrontation near or across its frontiers — be it the border war with India in 1962, skirmishes with the Soviets along the Amur river in 1969, or military raids across Vietnam’s northern border in 1979 — there is a hidden political agenda.

Less than 50 kilometers from the stand-off area is the Bhutanese town of Haa, the center for the Indian Military Training Team, or IMTRAT, which is responsible for training the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA). Doklam is also located on the western flank of the Chumbi valley, the narrow salient between western Bhutan and the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim.

Any Chinese attempt to widen that corridor, giving its security forces more room to maneuver in a sensitive border area, would be perceived as a threat to India’s security.