Army chief defers Bhutan visit amid border feud

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 22, 2014 20:35 IST

Army chief General Dalbir Singh has deferred his three-day visit to Bhutan beginning Monday, amid lingering tensions between India and China over a border standoff in Ladakh.

The situation along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC) remained tense on Monday, with more than 1,000 Indian and Chinese soldiers continuing to hold their positions in the sensitive Chumar area of eastern Ladakh.

Singh’s visit was aimed at bolstering military cooperation with Bhutan, a strategic buffer between India and China. It would have been his first visit to a foreign country after taking over as army chief on July 31.

Bhutan’s significance as one of India’s closest allies was evident when Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose to visit Thimphu in June barely three weeks after being sworn in as PM, also his first foreign visit.

China, which shares a 470-km long boundary with Bhutan, has unresolved border issues with the Himalayan kingdom. New Delhi had established the Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT) in Bhutan in 1962 to train Bhutanese officers.

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