Arunachal Pradesh Current Affairs - 2020

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.

Emergency Funds to Armed Forces of Rs. 500 Crore, Specialised Mountain Forces deployed at LAC

Following the violent Galwan valley clash on 15th June 2020 and a six-week-long border standoff with the Chinese army, under emergency requirement procurement Rs 500 crore of funds was granted by the Government for the Armed Forces.

With consultation with the Department of Military Affairs, the Indian Armed Forces will be allowed to make a purchase of any weapon under the sanctioned amount. The weapon purchased under the sanctioned fund can be a new one that the armed forces feel they would require in case of a war or a weapon that is short in inventory.

Specialised Mountain Forces deployed

To safeguard Indian territories from any cross-border aggression from the People’s Liberation Army of China, India has deployed its Specialised High Altitude Warfare Forces who are trained in guerrilla warfare and fighting along the 3,488 Km Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The specialized Indian mountain troops are trained on the northern front. These forces go to the frontier when the red flag goes up. Over the decades these troops in the Himalayan States of India (Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and Ladakh) have adapted themselves to the rarefied heights by developing the required skill sets and capabilities that are essential to have a pin-pointed accuracy for mountain fighting.