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China and Bhutan reach deal on Himalayan border talks ‘in test for India’

Imran Khan

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China and Bhutan reach deal on Himalayan border talks ‘in test for India’

  • Beijing and Thimphu agree on road map but give no details of the steps ahead
  • China’s move could be an attempt to hit back at countries that have accused it of aggression in the area, analyst says

Amber Wang



Amber Wang in Beijing
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Published: 8:30pm, 15 Oct, 2021

Updated: 8:09am, 16 Oct, 2021

China and Bhutan have agreed to expedite border talks. Photo: Shutterstock


China and Bhutan have agreed to expedite border talks. Photo: Shutterstock

China has signed an agreement with Bhutan to speed up talks on their disputed border, in an apparent effort to put pressure on India over their unresolved Himalayan frontiers.
In an online ceremony on Thursday, China and Bhutan signed a memorandum of understanding on a “three-step road map” for expediting the Bhutan-China boundary negotiations, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.
Chinese assistant foreign minister Wu Jianghao said the document would speed up the negotiations between the two countries and advance the process of establishing diplomatic relations.
Bhutan’s foreign ministry said the agreement would give fresh impetus to the boundary talks and bring them to a “successful conclusion that is acceptable to both sides”.




Neither country gave details of the deal.








Explained: the history of China’s territorial disputes
Explained: the history of China’s territorial disputes


06:24

Explained: the history of China’s territorial disputes


Explained: the history of China’s territorial disputes
Bhutan’s border with China is over 400km (250 miles) long and Bhutan is the only one of China’s neighbours with which it does not have diplomatic ties.

Boundary talks began in 1984 and the two countries have held more than two dozen rounds of negotiations since then.
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The agreement comes four years after Indian and Chinese troops faced off for 73 days on the Doklam Plateau in an area claimed by both China and Bhutan.

India supported the Bhutanese claim and has also been embroiled in its own border stand-off with China.


However, the latest efforts to resolve the dispute between the two Asian giants broke down on Sunday, with China accusing India of making “unreasonable demands” and India accusing China of changing the status quo.

Qian Feng, director of research at Tsinghua University’s National Strategy Institute, said the three-step agreement with Bhutan might include setting up a framework first, confirming the specific disputes with an exchange of maps, and then a resolution stage.
Qian said the agreement was timed to hit back at India and other countries that had accused China of taking provocative action on the border.









China-India border clash in June left four PLA troops dead and one injured, report says
“It sent a clear signal to India that China’s friendly policy towards its neighbours has not changed,” he said.

“It can be said to be a counter-attack against India, including the United States and other Western countries that accused Beijing of aggression on the border issues.”
Lin Minwang, a professor and assistant dean at the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University, said Bhutan was trying to test India’s reaction and show its desire to settle boundary rows.

“The border disputes between China and Bhutan are easy to resolve, as long as India does not interfere,” Lin said.
Near the China-Bhutan-India border, a new village is drawing attention to old disputes

6 Dec 2020

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“The road map indicates that Bhutan intends to show India that the border issue is urgent to solve. Bhutan will decide how far it will go after checking India’s reaction.”

He said China also wanted to put pressure on India, with the last round of India-China military talks doing little to ease tensions.
“China wants to stimulate India to enter border negotiations with China,” Lin said.

Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said New Delhi had noted the signing of the agreement and “India has similarly been holding boundary negotiations with China”.




 

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vi-va

SENIOR MEMBER
Jan 23, 2019
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China would had signed a border treaty with Bhutan decades ago without India threatening Bhutan.

Bhutan knew very well that if Bhutan insist an independent foreign/domestic policy, she will be next Sikkim. Now Bhutan finally has strong backing - China.

With China back to her historical strength along Himalaya, neighbors of India can say big NO NO to India finally.
 

Dalit

BANNED
Mar 16, 2012
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Surround these curry headshakers. Sandwich them regionally.

They played this game against Pakistan with their US/NATO counterparts. Today the tables have turned.
 

vi-va

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Jan 23, 2019
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India no longer a player in the Bhutan affairs. The agreement is between Bhutan and China only. India is not a party in this agreement.
Bhutan became India Protectorate the day India got independence, not anymore.
Now Bhutan is pursuing a more balanced foreign policy with China support.
 

SuvarnaTeja

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Oct 7, 2018
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Bhutan became India Protectorate the day India got independence, not anymore.
Now Bhutan is pursuing a more balanced foreign policy with China support.
It was a decision of the British to make Bhutan a protectorate of India as British were wary of Chinese occupying Bhutan like Tibet. But it was an idiotic decision. India cannot protect her own land from China. How can it protect Bhutan? It was a flawed decision right from the start. If British wanted to control/protect Bhutan from China, they should have made the US the protectorate of Bhutan not India.
 

tower9

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Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. India thought China was just a bunch of weak chinkis, so it gleefully joined the quad, reneged on previous agreements for cooperation and with Pompeo’s backing, joined the pack of howling hyenas thinking China was backed into a corner because of covid being released there.

Well now the tables have turned and India being the only quad member sharing a land border with China is feeling the heat.
 

SuvarnaTeja

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Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. India thought China was just a bunch of weak chinkis, so it gleefully joined the quad, reneged on previous agreements for cooperation and with Pompeo’s backing, joined the pack of howling hyenas thinking China was backed into a corner because of covid being released there.

Well now the tables have turned and India being the only quad member sharing a land border with China is feeling the heat.
US has dumped Quad for AUKUS as India opposed converting Quad into a military alliance. India has never been and will never be part of a multilateral military alliance. Indian position will be same for both SCO and Quad in this regard.
 

vi-va

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Jan 23, 2019
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Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. India thought China was just a bunch of weak chinkis, so it gleefully joined the quad, reneged on previous agreements for cooperation and with Pompeo’s backing, joined the pack of howling hyenas thinking China was backed into a corner because of covid being released there.

Well now the tables have turned and India being the only quad member sharing a land border with China is feeling the heat.
The biggest flawed foreign policy India made, bigger than 1959-1962.

With 2 front war scenarios pressuring India, BJP/Modi can only hope Yankees won't throw him under the bus.

Now India is sandwiched by 2 much bigger power which are China+Pakistan and US.

Before 2019, India was sitting pretty. Now India was hostage of US war machine. India has lost the favored international position.
 

tower9

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The biggest flawed foreign policy India made, bigger than 1959-1962.

With 2 front war scenarios pressuring India, BJP/Modi can only hope Yankees won't throw him under the bus.

Now India is sandwiched by 2 much bigger power which are China+Pakistan and US.

Before 2019, India was sitting pretty. Now India was hostage of US war machine. India has lost the favored international position.
India made a very big strategic miscalculation. They thought that China's peaceful resolution of the Doklam standoff was due to China's weakness and fear of India. When in reality, China compromised because they didn't want India to become an enemy and wanted to have a mutually prosperous economic relationship with India. However, when India joined the Quad and turned its society and media resolutely anti-China, it became clear that India was an enemy, so China no longer feels any restraint in confronting India.
 

SuvarnaTeja

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Before 2019, India was sitting pretty. Now India was hostage of US war machine. India has lost the favored international position.
How was India sitting pretty before 2019? China has always been calling the shots since Indian Independence in 1947.
 

lonelyman

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India made a very big strategic miscalculation. They thought that China's peaceful resolution of the Doklam standoff was due to China's weakness and fear of India. When in reality, China compromised because they didn't want India to become an enemy and wanted to have a mutually prosperous economic relationship with India. However, when India joined the Quad and turned its society and media resolutely anti-China, it became clear that India was an enemy, so China no longer feels any restraint in confronting India.
It's India culture, when PLA treat them with respect and save face for them, they think because PLA is fearful of them, their logic is if we don't fear them, why wouldn't we completely trash them. that's their historical experiences and expectation of being subjugated.

If we don't treat them as slave servants, they would think we are weak. These
thoughts and logic are completely foreign to Chinese
 

silverox

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The world views of China and India are completely opposite. We always don't understand the Indian thinking mode, and we make a lot of mistakes. We sat and watched India's annexation of Sikkim and southern Tibet. We thought that India would stop further invasions after receiving these. In fact, we were wrong. For aggressive India, the more meat the Indians grab, the more hungry they are.
 

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