IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

China doubles down on claims on eastern Bhutan boundary

7th July, 2020 International News

Claims of China:

 - China made this claim at an online meeting of the 58th Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council, while objecting to the funding request to develop the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary project in eastern Bhutan.

- According to China, the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the China-Bhutan disputed areas, which is on the agenda of China-Bhutan boundary talk.

- China claims that the boundary between China and Bhutan has never been delimited. It has had disputes over the eastern, central and western sectors of Bhutan.

Bhutan Position:

- Bhutan totally rejected the claim made by China. It said that Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is an integral and sovereign territory of Bhutan.

- Bhutan has conveyed its position to China through its embassy in New Delhi— since both countries do not have embassies in each other’s countries.

- China and Bhutan have a dispute in only two sectors of the border, one in the north (central) – Pasamlung and Jakarlung, and second in the west – Doklam.

- There has been no mention of eastern Bhutan, or Trashigang district, where Sakteng is based, in 24 previous rounds of boundary negotiations held between the two countries between 1984 and 2016.

Concern for India:

- Already standoff is going on in LAC.

- Standoff took place in Doklam in 2017, which is a Bhutanese territory.

- Location is strategic as Sakteng wildlife sanctuary shares boundary with Arunachal Pradesh.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/days-after-demarche-china-doubles-down-on-claims-on-eastern-bhutan-boundary/article31993470.ece