China and Bhutan are working towards resolving their longstanding border disputes. Bhutan’s foreign minister visited Beijing for talks with his Chinese counterpart, indicating progress in the negotiation process.
- China has disputes with only two of its 14 neighboring countries – India and Bhutan.
- Bhutan and China have ongoing border disputes since the 1980s, specifically in areas like Jakarlung, Pasamlung, and Doklam.
- Bhutan, despite being a smaller nation, firmly adheres to the principle of equality in international relations.
- Bhutan follows the ‘one-China’ policy and is keen on settling border issues to advance diplomatic relations with China.
- Doklam Region: Doklam is a point where the borders of India, China, and Bhutan meet.
- Security Significance: For India, Doklam holds strategic importance as it connects the Indian mainland to the Northeast. Any Chinese control over Doklam could threaten India’s Siliguri Corridor, a narrow stretch vital for India’s connectivity.
- Tri-junction Discussion: Bhutan maintains that discussions about tri-junction points (involving India, China, and Bhutan) can only happen after India and China resolve their border issues.
- Wait-and-See Approach: Bhutan is observing how India and China settle their disputes before initiating comprehensive talks regarding tri-junction points.
- Supportive Role: India has historically supported Bhutan in these border negotiations.
- Regional Implications: India closely watches these developments due to the potential security threats arising from any change in the border status between China and Bhutan.