China – Bhutan sign MoU on a Three-Step Roadmap for expediting boundary talks
Recently, Bhutan and China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a three-stage process to intensify border talks.
The aim of this three-stage action plan is to expeditiously resolve border disputes between the two countries. This action plan will give a new impetus to the long pending boundary negotiations to resolve the issue of demarcated borders.
So far, 24 rounds of border talks have been concluded by the two countries between 1984 and 2016, mainly focused on the regions of northern and western Bhutan.
Since 1984, the Sino-Bhutan border dispute has focused mainly on two areas:
- Under this, the western region of Bhutan including Doklam and other areas located on the tri-confluence border of India, China and Bhutan and;
- The northern region of Bhutan (an area of 495 km) including the Jakarlung and Pasamlung valleys.
Recently, China has also claimed the eastern Sakteng region of Bhutan. It also includes the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary of Bhutan.
Impact of China-Bhutan border dispute on India
- This poses a strategic threat to the Siliguri Corridor (also known as the Chicken’s Neck), as it connects parts of North Bengal and the entire Northeast to the rest of India.
- The proximity of the eastern region of Bhutan to Arunachal Pradesh.
- Bhutan acts as a buffer state between India and China.
Source – The Hindu