Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

Days after Bhutan sent China a demarche protesting Chinese claims to the Sakteng wildlife sanctuary in Eastern Bhutan, Beijing has included Bhutan’s “Eastern sectors” to the boundary dispute between the two countries for the first time.

Background to the situation

  • According to written records, there has been no mention of Eastern Bhutan, or Trashigang Dzongkhag (district), where Sakteng is based, that borders Arunachal Pradesh, in 24 previous rounds of boundary negotiations held between the two countries between 1984 and 2016.
  • The negotiations have not been held since the Doklam standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in 2017.
  • Bhutan has always maintained a discreet silence on its boundary negotiations with China, and it does not have any formal diplomatic relations with Beijing.

China targets India’s Arunachal Pradesh?

  • The key could be the proximity of Bhutan’s “eastern sector” to Arunachal Pradesh – which China claims in its entirety as part of “south Tibet” : It could be the primary reason for Beijing to talk about differing boundary perceptions with Bhutan now.
  • Though China might not have said it publicly, it’s not surprising if Beijing was opposed to the India-Bhutan boundary delimitation agreement, which was signed in 2006.
  • China’s state-controlled media and Chinese academics consistently blame India for Beijing-Thimphu not having diplomatic ties.

Recently in News: Click Here to read more about Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS), India – Bhutan relations and more

-Source: The Hindu, Hindustan Times

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