What Happened: Beijing has built more than 200 buildings and roads along Bhutan’s disputed border near India’s strategic Siliguri Corridor, Reuters reported Jan. 12.
Why It Matters: China’s construction activity directly threatens India’s Siliguri Corridor, which links India’s major landmass to its northeastern states. Chinese activity in Bhutan, along with Beijing’s ongoing standoff with India on both eastern and western fronts, will further exacerbate China-Bhutan tensions. India would likely intervene in Bhutan if a military conflict with China grows more likely, as it did in the 2017 Doklam standoff.
Background: In October 2021, Bhutan and China signed a framework agreement to expedite border resolution talks, which have been ongoing since 1984. Reports during the same time also suggested that Bhutan and China reestablished diplomatic relations, but those relations have yet to materialize.