Dalai Lama

AP Explains: India and China face off in border standoff

It was the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan that sounded the alarm: Chinese soldiers had arrived with bulldozers and excavators, and were building a high-mountain road near India's border — in an area the two nuclear-armed Asian giants have disputed for decades.

India responded to the call by sending troops last month to evict the Chinese army construction party from the Doklam Plateau. Within a few days, Indian media were running leaked video footage of soldiers from both sides shoving one another atop a grassy flatland.

The tense standoff has only escalated, raising concerns in both capitals of an all-out military conflict. Both sides have made threats while simultaneously...