by James Corbett
May 30, 2020
OK, I get it. You’re sick of hearing about it.
“There must be something else happening in the world,” I hear you saying.
Well, you’re in luck! I did some digging and it turns out there are other things happening in the world, after all! Things that have nothing to do with viruses or masks or vaccines or contact tracers. (Or, at least, as little to do with those things as possible, given the circumstances.)
Here are a few of them:
1) China and India are at it again
Back in September of 2017 I wrote about the soaring military tensions between China and India over a seemingly insignificant mountain pass in Doklam, a disputed area near the China/Bhutan/Indian border that is claimed by both China and Bhutan. For those who might not remember, that standoff began when Chinese troops began constructing a road in the region without Bhutan’s approval, escalated when Indian troops arrived to stop the construction, and ended when Beijing and New Delhi agreed to mutually withdraw from the region. It was a sudden end to a dangerous impasse between two nuclear-armed regional rivals, and, as many warned at the time, this was unlikely to be the last such border dispute between China and India.
Fast forward three years, and we’re now facing what is already being touted as the biggest face-off between the two countries since that Doklam dispute.
This time, the conflict is taking place over the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the imaginary line through the volatile Kashmir region separating Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory. The LAC has been a source of contention between India and China for years, not because the region is home to any large deposit of resource or mineral wealth, but because of its geo-strategic value. Once prized for its importance in trans-Himalayan trading routes, it now stands as a strategic wedge of Indian territory between the Chinese border on the east and the Pakistani border on the west.