Foreign Secretary in Thimphu days after China-Bhutan border talks : The Tribune India

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Foreign Secretary in Thimphu days after China-Bhutan border talks

Foreign Secretary in Thimphu days after China-Bhutan border talks

Days after China and Bhutan reached a “consensus” to implement a three-step roadmap to settle their border dispute, Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra reached Thimphu on Wednesday on a three-day visit.



New Delhi, January 18

Days after China and Bhutan reached a “consensus” to implement a three-step roadmap to settle their border dispute, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra reached Thimphu on Wednesday on a three-day visit.

Kwatra will hold talks with his counterpart Pema Choden, besides calling on the country’s top leadership. He will also co-chair the 4th India-Bhutan Development Cooperation Talks. India is Bhutan’s largest benefactor and had earmarked $282 million for its development during 2022-23. The focus of the visit is expected to be on boosting cooperation in the hydropower sector, defence ties and reviewing the situation in the strategically sensitive Doklam tri-junction.

Kwatra will be in Bhutan against the backdrop of the 11th Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on China-Bhutan Boundary Issues in China’s Kunming during January 10-13. While India’s border talks with China are stalled, Bhutan has held 24 rounds of talks with China so far. Of China’s 14 land neighbours, the largest in the world, it has resolved boundary disputes with 12. India and Bhutan are the two countries with whom China is yet to finalise border agreements. India had intervened in a border dispute between China and Bhutan at Doklam in 2017. It had led to a 73-day standoff between the armies of both countries. However, China has not only built the road that India had disputed, but also raised a garrison uncomfortably close to the Jampari Ridge.

China has been pressuring Bhutan by making additional claims. In 2020, it had laid stake to Bhutan’s Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary by opposing funding for a project at the Global Environment Facility Council. Bhutan had lodged a demarche to the Chinese Embassy in India over the issue as the two sides do not have reciprocal diplomatic missions. — TNS

To discuss defence ties, review Doklam situation

  • Of China’s 14 land neighbours, it has resolved boundary disputes with 12
  • No pact with India, Bhutan yet; talks with Delhi stalled, Beijing held 24 rounds with Thimpu
  • India intervened in dispute between China, Bhutan at Doklam in 2017, leading to 73-day standoff with PLA

#China


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