Stability in a secondary strategic direction
After 1962 war, China has emphasized maintaining stability in its border dispute with India. China’s approach to military strategy distinguishes between primary and secondary strategic directions to prioritize the threats it faces. The southwest, or China’s dispute with India, is viewed as a secondary strategic direction and thus not a primary focus of China’s strategy. Maintaining stability on the border thus allows the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to concentrate forces against the greatest threat in the primary strategic direction. Despite the standoff at Doklam in 2017, China is unlikely to change its approach to the border dispute.