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This question already has an answer here:

These days it's the hot potato, and often daily in the news that there is a 7 week long stand off in the Doklam plateau. And today also there is some news that Indian army, as well as China's PLA, has started deployment of troops in the vicinity of Doklam.

Why is India taking so much interest in Bhutan's political affair, to the point it may have to go to war for the sake of other country's interest?

marked as duplicate by James K, Alexei, Machavity, Bradley Wilson, bytebuster Aug 11 '17 at 16:25

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  • Yes, might be but these are the que which have different ans and perspective every time when aksed. – sparrowTrajon Aug 11 '17 at 7:36
  • According to unofficial source, both sides used supercomputers to calculate the odds. The standing off is hugely profitable for China because it is like a raised axe. If war broke out, India will lose but the winner will be India's former masters, not China. – user16116 Aug 28 '17 at 15:40
  • Peace is still in the best interest of China and Pakistan because two more decades of peace will make China the uncontested superpower and Pakistan the uncontested economic super hub of the middle east. The only ones who look forward to Sino-Indian wars are India's former masters and their stooges. – user16116 Aug 28 '17 at 15:59
  • War is no good for India either. As soon as war breaks out, India will be fighting as a proxy for someone else's best interest. – user16116 Aug 28 '17 at 16:09
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To complete Federico's good answer:

India and Bhutan have shared a friendship treaty since 1949 that was renewed in 2007.

Per these treaties, India offers its assistance to Bhutan for the defence of its territory. Bhutan actually requested assistance from Delhi in the Doklam dispute, after which India sent forces.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/06/china-india-bhutan-standoff-disputed-territory

India has several other boundary disputes with China.

Not backing Bhutan and conceding the Doklam plateau could be considered as a sign of weakness and encourage Beijing to bold moves in Aksai Chin or Sikkim.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Indian_border_dispute

Strategic issues

On some forums I've read that if the plateau was in Chinese hands it would give them a huge advantage (highest ground) for any attack on India's Siliguri "chicken's neck". Also, that would place Timphu, Bhutan's capital, within reach of Chinese artillery, and thus Bhutan would become almost impossible to defend. However this information seemed to come from writers with a subjective (Indian) angle, so until it gets more documented I've no idea how much of a difference the plateau actually makes from a military point of view.

Stuff to read

I also recommend these detailed articles:

http://thediplomat.com/2017/07/the-political-geography-of-the-india-china-crisis-at-doklam/

http://vatsrohit.blogspot.fr/2017/07/doklam-plateau-india-bhutan-and-china.html

  • Why is India and/or China so concerned about strategic advantage of conventional weapons when both these nations are nuclear powers? I would only understand border disputes related to strategic resources. – Matt Chambers Aug 11 '17 at 14:27
  • Refer to this, and this report. enter image description here This is a territorial dispute between Bhutan and China. According to the map, Doklam is not near the Indian border. Why has India sent troops there? There is no hard evidence that: (1) Bhutan requested India to act on their behalf, (2) India-Bhutan friendship treaty warrants such move by India, (3) why can't Bhutan handle its own foreign policy. All we find are a bunch of Indian newspapers spreading such news. – user4514 Aug 12 '17 at 2:04
  • @anonymous : the dispute IS at the Indian border. I don't know why you are copy-pasting the same erroneous statement on three or four different places while it has already been answered and debunked. – Evargalo Aug 12 '17 at 11:15
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It is because the "Doklam" is not far from Indian territory, and in particular is not far from the so called "chicken's neck".

In the image below (see the bottom of this answer for a more informative map):

  • The so-called "Doklam plateau", territory officially recognized as disputed by Bhutan and China, is circled in black (see also the other map further down the answer)
  • the "Doklam" mentioned in the question, and main point of dispute, is the area that extends from the above territory till the triple junction between India, China, and Bhutan just south of it
  • India's "Chicken's neck" circled in red

enter image description here

For India this "neck" is a strategically important piece of land, that (in case of open conflict with China) if it would fall in enemy hands would cut land connection to India's north-east, meaning that India would probably lose that territory in a war.

So by keeping China away from the border, India keeps them away also from its weak spot.

Moreover, as mentioned by Olivier Pucher in the comments:

[the] game of provocations and squizzing some military advantages is much more subtle that direct attacks. Clearly China doesn't intend to invade India, neither from its own soil nor from Bangladesh (which probably wouldn't be more practical at all), but it tries to put pressure on India. If Doklam's plateau is recognized as chinese, chinese army will be able to manoeuver there at will.

Addendum

Given all the confusion about the location of "Doklam" I'd like to highlight this passage from wikipedia:

In June 2017 a military standoff occurred between China and India as China attempted to extend a road on the Doklam plateau southwards near the Doka La pass. Bhutan has formally objected to China's road construction in the disputed area.

I.e.: China is building a road through the plateau area. A road that would allow China to easily reach the triple junction, and thus have a military advantage in case of confrontation with India.

Thanks to Olivier Pucher for this other image coming from this other website:

enter image description here

  • I am simply asking if China want to isolate the indian North eastern part from main land then it can attack via Bangladesh as it is good partner with China – sparrowTrajon Aug 11 '17 at 7:26
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    @OlivierPucher the plateau yes. I admit that I am not super-familiar with the names of the various places around there, I looked on wikipedia and the "doklam" (without plateau) seems to be the triple junction: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doklam – Federico Aug 11 '17 at 7:29
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    @sparrowTrajon : that game of provocations and squizzing some military advantages is much more subtle that direct attacks. Clearly China doesn't intend to invade India, neither from its own soil nor from Bangladesh (which probably wouldn't be more practical at all), but it tries to put pressure on India. If Doklam's plateau is recognized as chinese, chinese army will be able to manoeuver there at will. – Evargalo Aug 11 '17 at 7:31
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    After having been picking holes about the precise geographical location of Doklam's plateau, I found this very documented article : thediplomat.com/2017/07/… according to which the disputed land, after all, would actually be at the trijunction point and not at the area between Bhutan and China that is commonly referred as "Doklam's plateau'... I'm a bit confused right now. – Evargalo Aug 11 '17 at 8:34
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Federico Aug 24 '17 at 19:42

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