China has officially acknowledged for the first time that it has a border dispute with Bhutan on the eastern side. This acceptance of China is very important for India. Actually, Bhutan is bordered by eastern Arunachal Pradesh and it is in this area that China is now claiming a border dispute. China has said that it has never settled a border dispute with Bhutan.
China said it has had longstanding border disputes with Bhutan in the eastern, central and western regions. China pointed to India and said that no third party should raise a finger in the China-Bhutan border dispute. China and Bhutan have held 24 rounds of talks between 1984 and 2016 so far. During this period, only the West and Central areas dispute was discussed in the talks.
No discussion on border dispute in eastern region
According to Bhutan sources, there was never any discussion on border dispute between China and Bhutan in the eastern region. Both sides considered the border dispute in the central and western areas. Here a package was agreed to settle the boundary dispute. If China felt that its position in the eastern section was legal, then it should have raised this issue earlier.
On the other hand, a Bhutan expert says that this is a completely new claim from China. The documents signed by both the parties only talked about the dispute in the western and central part. India has not yet responded to this new Chinese claim. China’s Foreign Ministry did not provide detailed information about the actual dispute with Bhutan in the eastern region.
Wildlife sanctuary land described as ‘disputed’
The Chinese dragon had earlier laid claim to a new land in Bhutan. At the 58th meeting of the Global Environment Facility Council, China described the land of Bhutan’s Sakateng Wildlife Sanctuary as ‘disputed’. Also tried to ‘oppose’ the funding of this project. Bhutan strongly opposed China’s move and described the land as an integral part.
Contrary to China’s claim, the reality is that there was never a dispute over the sanctuary land in previous years. However, there is no border between Bhutan and China. Bhutan strongly opposed this nefarious move of China. Bhutan objected to this claim by China, saying, “The Sakateng Wildlife Sanctuary is an integral and sovereign part of Bhutan.”