(CNN)A Chinese road building project in the Himalayas has become the center of an escalating border dispute between India and China, with both sides accusing the other of territorial intrusions.
China and India in war of words over Bhutan border dispute
Described by the Indian government as a “significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India,” the controversial road runs through the disputed Doklam Plateau, on the unmarked border between China and Bhutan.
Though not a part of Indian territory, the plateau holds immense strategic importance for Delhi and is vital to its geopolitical interests.
“The area in contention is extremely close to a very vulnerable stretch of Indian territory that effectively connects the bulk of India to its northeastern states,” Shashank Joshi, senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London told CNN.
“Additional construction could skew the local balance of power in China’s favor, essentially leaving India more vulnerable to invasion in case of a military confrontation with Beijing.”