- China’s eyes are on India’s ‘Chicken Neck’ area
- Siliguri Corridor of West Bengal is called ‘Chicken Neck’
- This area is very important economically and geographically.
Expansionist China continues to attempt illegal occupation of neighboring countries’ lands. But on moving towards India, China gets a befitting reply from the Indian Army. Despite this, China’s eyes remain on a particular area of India. China’s eyes are fixed on India’s ‘chicken neck’ and there are many reasons for this. The geographical location, economic importance and international reach of this region make it very special. This area is the Siliguri Corridor, also known as the ‘Chicken Neck’ of India. This became an important route after the India-China Doklam crisis in 2017.
The corridor located in West Bengal is 60 km long and 20 km wide and connects the North-East part with the rest of India. It is not only an important trade route but also an important ‘gateway’ to Southeast Asia. The WION report states that the region is surrounded by several international borders including Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and China. The Chumbi Valley of Tibet is just 130 km away from the Chicken Neck Corridor. At the tip of this valley lies the trijunction of India, Nepal and Bhutan which is known as the Doklam region which has now become a standoff point. Himalayan mountains like Mount Kanchenjunga are the origin of major rivers like Teesta and Jaldakha. These rivers join the Brahmaputra River on entering Bangladesh.
Helps promote Act East policy
The northeastern region of India has a population of 50 million people and mostly Nepali and Bengali immigrants. From the point of view of economy, this corridor is very important for the trade of North-Eastern states and rest of India. It also hosts the only railway freight line between them. The tea and timber of Darjeeling further add to the importance of the region. LSC has roadways and railways connected by the Siliguri Corridor. All the essential things are supplied to them through this corridor only.
According to the report, it is helping India promote its ‘Act East Policy’ by facilitating connectivity between India and its northeastern states as well as ASEAN countries in Southeast Asia. This corridor has proved to be important in combating illegal infiltration, cross-border terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism in the northeastern states. Southeast Asia is notorious for the Golden Triangle, associated with organized crime and drug trafficking in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos.
Corridor’s important contribution in the security of the area
The spread of drug trafficking from these countries to Indian states such as Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh is a major security threat. This area can be secured by improving the security in the Siliguri Corridor. Its proximity to Tibet acts as an advantage for India as it can keep a close watch on China from here. Which is continuously building roads and airstrips in the border areas.
Can play an important role in the event of war
According to the report of WION, weapons and troops can be easily mobilized through the Siliguri Corridor in the event of war. Beijing is investing heavily in India’s neighboring countries under the pretext of improving its global trade reach for its Belt and Road plan. But in the name of investment, these countries are falling in the trap of China. Most Western countries criticize China for imposing debt on poor, developing countries with no hope of paying them back. He is trying to use it to take advantage of political influence. Whereas China says that countries remain grateful to it for these loans and they are in great need of it.
Why is the Chicken Neck area of India so important?