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China running intimidation game with neighbors

Bhutan2

An analyst has identified a small parcel of land in the Himalayas, the Doklam plateau inside Bhutan, as an obscure piece of land that “has serious implications that should not be minimized or ignored,” explains a new report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

It’s because India recently backed down in a confrontation with an expansionist-minded China over that land.

The dispute is part of a larger battle China has pursued against its neighbors and, indeed, anyone else traversing its part of the world.

For example, China in 2014 began massive dredging activities on several reefs in the Spratly Islands, turning them into more than 3,000 acres of island that now hold comprehensive weapons systems, including anti-aircraft guns.

Other nations periodically have reclaimed lands in the seas. Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan have built up a total of about 100 acres over 45 years.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned: “Building islands and then putting military assets on those islands is akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea. Its taking of territory to which others lay claim.

“We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that first, the island-building stops, and second, your access to those islands also not going to be allowed,” he said.

While the South China Sea has become a “testing ground” for whether or not China will succeed in its efforts, the analyst says the Himalayan parcel has become another red line.

Lawrence A. Franklin, who was the Iran desk officer for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and also was on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a colonel in the Air Force Reserve, points out the fight over the Doklam plateau developed when China built a road in Bhutan, an ally of India.

Indian troops responded and “faced off with Chinese soldiers and road construction crews.”

Brawls ensued, but apparently no shots were fired.

According to Franklin’s report at the Gatestone Institute, India eventually backed down.

On Aug. 28, New Delhi withdrew its troops from Doklam, “a move that China has touted as a victory and deployed as a warning.”

“As a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman triumphantly announced, ‘We remind the Indian side to learn the lesson from this incident.’”

For the rest of this report, and more, please go to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

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