According to a report in The Hindu, a joint statement issued after the talks between Bhutan and China said, “There was an in-depth exchange of views on the implementation of a three-phase roadmap to accelerate the China-Bhutan boundary talks.” A positive consensus has also been made in this. The Bhutanese delegation was led by Dasho Letho Tobdhen Tangbi, who oversees the International Border. He met a Chinese delegation led by Hong Liang who handles border disputes in the Chinese Foreign Ministry. This conversation lasted from Tuesday to Friday.
China moves to put pressure on Bhutan
In a statement issued after the talks, it has been said that both sides have agreed to implement the three-phased roadmap one after the other. Apart from this, the two countries will remain in constant contact and hold the 25th round of talks on the border dispute as soon as possible. This three-stage roadmap was agreed upon in October 2021. China and Bhutan have held 24 rounds of boundary talks since 1984. During this period, the talks have been focused only on Doklam and the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction and the Jakarlung and Pasmalung valleys.
Even after this conversation, China has recently staked its claim on several areas of the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary on the eastern border of Bhutan, increasing the dispute with Bhutan. The border of this sanctuary meets the state of Arunachal Pradesh of India. China’s Foreign Ministry has termed these disputes as western, central and eastern sections. Many analysts believe that China is doing this to put pressure on Bhutan so that it accepts Thimphu’s government’s offer to exchange Doklam among themselves. China believes that the Doklam area adjacent to India is strategically important for it.
China increased the number of its troops in Doklam
In return, China would give up claims on Bhutanese land located in the northern region of Bhutan. There is a dispute between China and India regarding the western area which is about 269 square kilometers which is adjacent to the border of India. In the year 2017, after failing the Chinese move on behalf of the Indian Army, the dragon is preparing afresh for Doklam. After this dispute, China has significantly increased the number of its troops in Doklam. To put pressure on Bhutan, China is now building villages in its land.