China, Bhutan hold discussions to resolve border dispute

Published on Apr 09, 2021 11:07 PM IST
Both nation have held 24 rounds of boundary talks in a bid to resolve the dispute. Bhutan shares over 400-km-long border with China.
Bhutan and China held the 10th Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Bhutan-China Boundary. In this photo, Bhutanese college students enter the Royal University of Bhutan in Thimphu. (AFP)
Bhutan and China held the 10th Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Bhutan-China Boundary. In this photo, Bhutanese college students enter the Royal University of Bhutan in Thimphu. (AFP)
PTI | , Beijing

Senior officials of China and Bhutan have discussed a roadmap to expedite their boundary talks and agreed to continue to maintain peace and tranquillity along their border pending final settlement of their dispute, the foreign ministries of the two countries said on Friday.

The two countries do not have diplomatic relations but maintain contacts through periodic visits by officials.

China, which is yet to finalise border agreements with India and Bhutan, has resolved the boundary line with 12 other neighbours.

The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the two countries have held 22 rounds of Special Representatives-level talks so far to resolve the boundary dispute. The meeting took place in the backdrop of the military standoff between China and India in eastern Ladakh since May last year.

Bhutan shares over 400-km-long border with China and the two countries have held 24 rounds of boundary talks in a bid to resolve the dispute.

According to a joint statement issued by China and Bhutan on Friday, the 10th Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Bhutan-China Boundary was held in the country’s southwest Kunming city from April 6-9.

The EGM was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere, and held in-depth and fruitful discussions on the boundary issue in keeping with the close ties of friendship and cooperation between Bhutan and China, said the statement issued by the two foreign ministries after the talks.

“The EGM discussed a roadmap to expedite the Bhutan-China Boundary Talks. The two sides agreed to continue to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas pending a final settlement of the boundary issue,” the statement posted on the Bhutan Foreign Ministry website said.

The two countries have agreed to hold the 25th Round of Bhutan-China Boundary Talks and the 11th EGM as soon as possible at mutually convenient dates, it said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also posted the joint statement on its website.

In a show of goodwill and friendship, and to support Bhutan’s fight against COVID-19, the Chinese government donated Personal Protective Equipment and medical supplies, it said.

The Bhutanese delegation was led by Letho Tobdhen Tangbi, Secretary of the International Boundaries, while the Chinese delegation was led by Hong Liang, Director General of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

The Boundary Talks between Bhutan and China began in 1984 and both the countries have signed the Guiding Principles on the Settlement of the Boundary Issues in 1988 and the Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the border areas in 1998.

These two agreements form the basis of the boundary negotiation between Bhutan and China, the statement said.

In July last year, China made a surprising claim on Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council by opposing funding to the project.

Bhutan lodged a demarche to the Chinese Embassy in India over China’s claim over the sanctuary.

The GEF Council has reportedly cleared the funding for the Sakteng sanctuary after Aparna Subramani, the World Bank official representing Bhutan as well as India, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka said Bhutan totally rejected the claim made by China.

China sought to defend its claims on Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, saying the boundary between the two countries is yet to be demarcated and it has proposed a package solution to resolve the border dispute.

“China’s position remains consistent and clear. The boundary between China and Bhutan has not been delimited and there has been disputes in the middle, eastern and western sections,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin had told a media briefing here.

“So, China advocates a package solution to resolve the dispute,” he said.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • A customer pumps gas at an Exxon gas station in Miami.

    US gasoline prices fall below $4 for first time since March

    The average price of US retail gasoline fell below $4 per gallon on Thursday for the first time in months, giving some relief to drivers in the world's largest consumer of the fuel. The national average price for regular unleaded gas fell to $3.990 a gallon on Thursday, according to the American Automobile Association. The latest price drop may help President Joe Biden's administration and Democrats in Congress during November's midterm elections.

  • A view shows the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict outside.

    Ukraine accuses Russia of fresh shelling near Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

    Russia and Ukraine accused each other of new shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Thursday ahead of a UN Security Council meeting to address concerns over the facility's security. Kyiv nuclear agency Energoatom said later that there had been fresh Russian shelling near one of the plant's six reactors that had caused "extensive smoke" and "several radiation sensors are damaged". The Security Council is expected to meet at 1900 GMT.

  • A health care worker prepares a dose of Imvanex, a vaccine to protect against Monkeypox virus.

    White people get bigger share of monkeypox shots, early data show

    Much like with Covid-19, the monkeypox health crisis in the US is hitting Black and Hispanic Americans hard. Yet those groups are so far lagging in vaccination rates, early data obtained by Bloomberg News show. In some major US cities with outbreaks, White people are getting the majority of vaccinations, data collected by Bloomberg show. In Chicago, 55% of vaccines have gone to White people. In Washington, D.C., 63.5% of vaccine recipients identify as White.

  • Sheikh Rahimullah Haqqani was killed in an attack in a seminary in Kabul.

    Top Taliban cleric killed in blast in Kabul: Officials

    A prominent Taliban cleric, Sheikh Rahimullah Haqqani, was killed in an attack in a seminary in Kabul when the attacker detonated explosives hidden in a plastic artificial leg on Thursday, according to officials and Taliban sources. It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast. Four Taliban sources told Reuters the attacker was someone who had previously lost his leg and had hidden the explosives in a plastic artificial leg.

  • The Chinese action came less than a month after Beijing blocked a similar joint proposal by India and the US to blacklist Pakistan-based deputy leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba Abdul Rehman Makki. (REUTERS)

    China says it needs more time to assess US, India proposal to blacklist JeM chief’s brother at UNSC

    China on Thursday said it needs more time to “assess” the India-US proposal to list Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Abdul Rauf Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN Security Council, hours after blocking the joint effort. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council has clear provisions about designating terrorist organisations and officials. China had similarly sought time to assess the case.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now