The Himalayan Plunder by China began silently in 1950’s by transcending boundaries of Tibet and steamrolling occupation of Aksai Chin (38,000 square kilometers) that was part of Ladakh region of J&K acceded by Maharaja Gulab Singh to India post Partition. China’s National Highway 219 repaved recently runs now through Aksai Chin connecting Tibet with the Xinjiang region. This Chinese move was not mere territory grab but part of a larger integrated politico-military strategy that looked far into future considering long term requirements of resources, particularly energy, that would increase in gargantuan proportions, plus the security of the long supply lines.
China appreciated long back that gas and oil pipelines could be planned in all directions and feasibility of tapping energy in the west / CAR incorporating energy based Eurasian Security Architecture existed. However, for ultimate energy security, it was necessary to get to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean by land. The latter was no easy task; it implied patience bordering banality and a long gestation period, plus the Himalayan Massif in the south.
In Pakistan, perpetually in search of its identity, China found an easy ally. Zhou-en-Lai visiting Pakistan in early 1960s advised Ayub Khan to raise a militia to fight in the backyard of enemy India, offered arms, technologies and a grateful Pakistan ceded Shaksgam Valley (about 6,000 square kilometers of Indian Territory) to Pakistan. This was followed by China supplying nuclear technology and ring magnets to Pakistan and the ‘Higher than the Mountains, Deeper than the Ocean’ relationship took off.
Simultaneously, China went for maximum economic and military cooperation with the Military Junta in Burma (now Myanmar) developing North-South waterways by making their waters navigable by large vessels, plus road construction and other development projects.
China resolved her borders with all countries less India and Bhutan, which was by design. In certain areas Chinese claim lines kept extending progressively as the years went by - from 1959 claim line to more demanding one in 1963 and subsequently extending further in 1969, 1975 so forth and so on.