Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 23
The Great Game on the Roof of the World is beginning to get intriguing as existing players have begun jettisoning over half a century of status quo. World attention is currently focused on the China-India face off in eastern Ladakh, but intrigues relating to Tibet and the surrounding territories controlled by India, Nepal and Bhutan are making a comeback.
China has ingressed into Bhutanese territory by building a road in an area that India considers a security risk to the Chicken’s Neck corridor connecting the mainland to the North East, said sources here. So far, there was reasoned speculation about the Chinese building a village as well as a road towards Jampheri Ridge.
Reports of a similar nature have come from Nepal but have been denied as well. However, China is now attempting to put in place an all-weather link to Nepal that will serve as a more reliable avenue for commerce.
The movement by Chinese troops came even as Beijing has been sending feelers to Thimphu to settle their borders. In 2017, Indian troops had blocked a similar movement with New Delhi stating that this was done at Bhutan’s behest. Before the Chinese ingress on Doklam plateau was established by satellite images, the Bhutanese envoy here was denying there had been any Chinese ingress.
In the US, the House of Representatives will follow up a bipartisan unanimous resolution of Tibet with a major event such as a Joint Meeting of the Congress or even a scaled down version such as a roundtable with the Dalai Lama via video conferencing to discuss the peaceful resolution of the Tibet issue.
The head of the Tibetan government in exile has visited the White House for the first time in six decades, a move that could further infuriate China, which has accused the US of trying to destabilise the region.
Last week, another taboo was broken when Lobsang Sangay, “President of the Central Tibetan administration (CTA)”, visited a wing of the White House to meet a newly appointed interlocutor on Tibetan affairs. The CTA highlighted the takeaway from “this unprecedented meeting’’ which would be more formalised interaction with US officials in the coming years.
In India, Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu has repeated his statement that the state does not share a direct border with China but with Tibet. In June, days after the Galwan Valley clash, Khandu had for the first time referred to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as India-Tibet border.
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