Amid escalating tension between India and China, with the two countries’ army facing each other in a standoff at Doklam, Bhutan has today denied Chinese foreign ministry’s claims about Thimpu, stating the disputed trilateral border area in the Sikkim sector is not Bhutan’s territory.
Days back, a top Chinese diplomat claimed that Bhutan had conveyed through diplomatic channels that the area of standoff in Doklam is not its territory. Reportedly conveying the statement to visiting Indian media delegation, the Deputy Director General of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs in China’s foreign ministry could not provide any concrete evidence to back her claim, which the Bhutan government has strongly refuted.
As reported by ANI, Bhutanese government said, “Our position on the border issue of Doklam is very clear. Please refer to our statement which has been published on the web site of Bhutan’s foreign ministry on June 29, 2017.”
Over the latest development in Doklam , the Bhutan government issued a press release on July 29th, and clearly stated that construction of road inside Bhutanese territory is direct violation of the agreement. In an official press release Bhutan claimed that the Chinese Army have started constructing a motor-able road in the Doklam area constructing a motor-able road from Dokola in the Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zompelri on June 16, 2017.
The Bhutan government also claimed that the talks to mark the boundaries of the two countries had been in a written agreement in 1988 and 1998. According to officials, in the agreement the two countries had agreed to maintain peace and tranquility in their border areas. As mentioned in the agreement, the two countries have also agreed to maintain a status quo on the border as before March 1959 and refrain from using force or taking unilateral actions.
However, even as the Chinese diplomat acknowledged that Bhutan was initially against Beijing’s violation in the Doklam area, she further said, “after the incident, the Bhutanese made it very clear to us that the place where the trespassing happened is not Bhutan’s territory. Bhutanese find it very strange that the Indian border troops are on the Chinese soil.”