The quick resolution of the border issue with Beijing is the only option left to Thimphu to avoid the ongoing salami-slicing by Beijing.
Gunjan Singh, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
For the first time ever, the Bhutanese foreign minister Tandi Dorji visited China and met with the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on 23 October 2023. What makes this visit special is the fact that Bhutan and China do not have officially established diplomatic relations.
In addition to this, the two sides also concluded the 25th round of the stalled border talks. The last border talks were held in 2016.
Both these developments are substantial as Bhutan and China have shown keenness to develop proper diplomatic relations and also work towards delineating and demarcating the border.
In the words of Wang Yi, “The conclusion of boundary negotiations and the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Bhutan fully serve the long-term and fundamental interests of the country and nation of Bhutan”.
‘It is Not Up to Bhutan Alone to Fix the Problem’
The Bhutanese side has been making statements regarding its keenness and urgency to resolve the border issue with China since March 2023. The Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering had made remarks to a Belgian newspaper stating that Thimphu will be looking at ways to resolve the border issue with China in “one or two meetings”. China and Bhutan have already established a Joint Technical Group (JTG) in September 2023 for the delimitation of the boundary.
Published in: The Quint
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