mou: China, Bhutan sign MoU for border talks; India takes note | India News

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NEW DELHI: Bhutan and China signed a MoU Thursday for what they called “Three steps road map“to speed up border negotiations between Bhutan and China and that, according to Thimphu it will give new impetus to the talks and may lead them to a mutually satisfactory conclusion. The memorandum of understanding comes at a time when India’s own talks with China to resolve the military standoff in eastern Ladakh remain inconclusive.
Like India, Bhutan remains locked in a border dispute with China and although the two have held 24 rounds of border talks since 1984, the last time they had these border negotiations was in 2016, or before the Doklam dispute involving India. in 2017.
India closely follows all border engagements between Bhutan and China, as Chinese claims on disputed territories have serious security implications for New Delhi. The MEA was extremely cautious in reacting to the development, saying that the government had taken note of the signing of the agreement.
“ We have taken note of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Bhutan and China. You know that Bhutan and China have been conducting boundary negotiations since 1984. Similarly, India has been conducting boundary negotiations with China, ”the MEA spokesman said. Arindam bagchi, when asked if Bhutan had kept India informed about the Memorandum of Understanding.
For many, and following the behavior of the past, it is inconceivable that Bhutan would not have discussed a memorandum of understanding on the question of limits without at least explaining the broad limits to the Indian authorities. Bhutan has so far not accepted the 1996 Chinese “ deal package ” offering to swap territory in central Bhutan for Doklam, located dangerously close to India’s Siliguri Corridor. China reiterated this land exchange offer last year.
The 2017 Doklam clash further complicated the border issue as India saw it PLAThe construction of a road in the Doklam area as a violation of the 2012 bilateral agreement that the triple junction border points between India, China and third countries will be finalized in consultation with the countries concerned.
China established the border with Russia with a formal agreement in 2008 and has reached agreements in a few other cases, but it remains embroiled in maritime disputes with Japan and several ASEAN nations.
The text of the MoU, which was signed during a virtual ceremony, has not yet been made public. Bhutan said in its announcement that during the 10th expert group meeting with China in April this year, the parties agreed on the roadmap that will apparently build on the 1988 Guiding Principles for establishing the border and speeding up negotiations. At the time, it was reported in the media that Bhutan and China had discussed a three-step roadmap.
A month later, there were reports that Bhutan had reservations about the roadmap, one of which was related to China’s claim on the Sakteng wildlife sanctuary in eastern Bhutan (near the Arunachal border), and that Bhutan had suggested certain amendments. It is not yet clear to what extent China has taken these amendments into account. Bhutan said that the roadmap will provide new impetus to the border talks and that it hopes that the implementation of this roadmap “ in a spirit of goodwill, understanding and adaptation ” will bring the border negotiations to a conclusion. satisfactory that is acceptable to both parties. .





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