Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

China said that it has offered Bhutan a “package solution” to its boundary dispute, reviving a reference to its 1996 proposal for a territory swap to give Bhutan the disputed areas in its north in exchange for the disputed western areas, including Doklam.

Forcing a Border Settlement?

  • The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) also repeated its claim on Bhutan’s eastern boundary at Sakteng, which experts warn, maybe a new pressure tactic by Beijing to push Thimphu into concluding a boundary deal.
  • The boundary between China and Bhutan is yet to be demarcated, and the middle, eastern and western sections of the border are disputed.
  • Since 1984, when China and Bhutan began talks, the areas of dispute have only included Pasamlung and Jakarlung valleys to the north (what China calls middle) area, and Doklam and other pasturelands to the west.
  • The eastern boundary of Bhutan, which borders Arunachal Pradesh, has never been in contention.
  • What is important to note is that according to Bhutan, the Sakteng area in the east was never brought up in the several rounds of border talks with China.

Click Here to read about China’s Claims of the Sakteng Area

-Source: The Hindu

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