Bhutan: Boundary with China hasn’t been Demarcated, under Negotiation with China

The Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China had claimed last week that their boundary with Bhutan has never been delimited and there are long-standing disputes between the two countries in eastern, central and western sections.

The Royal Bhutanese Embassy in India has clarified China’s claim on 7th July 2020 that the boundary talks between Bhutan and China is under negotiation and hasn’t been demarcated yet. Further Bhutanese Embassy has also stated that 24 rounds of ministerial-level talks have been conducted to date for demarcating the boundary between the two countries, the 25th round of talks was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Background

On June 2nd, 2020, during the 58th meeting of the U.N. Development Programme’s Global Environment Facility (GEF), China objected to the funding for the development of Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary by claiming the area to a disputed region between Bhutan and China. Bhutan denied the claims of China by stating the Wildlife Sanctuary is an integral and sovereign territory of Bhutan.

Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary comes under Trashigang Dzongkhag district in Eastern Bhutan. The Trashigang Dzongkhag district is the bordering district of Bhutan with India’ Arunachal Pradesh.

China’s Claim in Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is to pressurize India

Between 1984 to 2016, in a total of 24 boundary talks between Bhutan and China, there are no records of talks regarding the Trashigang Dzongkhag district or the Eastern part of Bhutan as a disputed area, neither China had claimed the any of the Eastern regions of Bhutan in the past at any international forum or during its talks with Bhutan.

China does not have a boundary with the Trashigang Dzongkhag District of Bhutan, its sudden claim in an international forum is clearly meant to target India.

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