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India- Bhutan meets on security issues

  • Published
    5th Apr, 2023

During the recent visit of King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in New Delhi, the meeting with Prime Minister of India has followed a development, which includes that both countries have a bearing on its national interest and security very closely and will take all necessary measures to safeguard them.

Points of Discussion:

  • As both countries maintain long-standing tradition of very close consultation on matters relating to their mutual interest and security.
  • India agreed to extend an additional standby credit facility.
  • This would be over and above the two existing standby credit facilities that are operating between the two countries.

Standby credit facility:

The Stand-by Credit Facility (SCF) provides financial assistance to low-income countries (LICs) with short-term balance of payments needs.

  • The SCF is one of the facilities under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT).
  • India is going to set up the first Integrated Check Post (ICP) along India-Bhutan border.
  • The proposed Kokrajhar-Gelephu rail link project through Government of India support in consultation with Bhutan.
  • In the field of hydro-power, India has agreed to an upward revision of the tariff of the Chhukha hydro-electric project.

Significance of the meet:

  • The meeting reiterated India’s continued and full support to the socio-economic development in Bhutan.
  • The two sides agreed that India would step up its support for Bhutan’s upcoming 13th Five Year Plan.
  • Doklam is a junction point between India, China and Bhutan, and needs all three consensuses to solve the dispute.

The Doklam issue:

  • The 2017 China–India border standoff or Doklam standoff was a military border standoff between the Indian Armed Forces and the People's Liberation Army of China over Chinese construction of a road in Doklam, near a trijunction border.
  • Doklam, or Donglang in Chinese, is an area spread over less than a 100 sq. km comprising a plateau and a valley at the trijunction between India, Bhutan and China.
  • It is surrounded by the Chumbi Valley of Tibet, Bhutan’s Ha Valley and

Why it is important for India?

  • Strategic location:
  • Doklam is strategically located close to the Siliguri Corridor, which connects mainland India with its north-eastern region.
  • The corridor, also called Chicken’s Neck, is a vulnerable point for India.
  • Extending Chinese territory:
  • The Chinese have a deep interest in Doklam, which would give them a commanding view of and an easy access to both the Chumbi Valley and the Siliguri Corridor.
  • The Chinese government released a map to accuse India of trespassing into its territory.

China has also blamed India for indulging into the internal matters between China and Bhutan against the construction of road on the Bhutan side by Chinese.

India-Bhutan Relations:

  • Diplomatic relations between India and Bhutan were established in 1968 with the appointment of a resident representative of India in Thimphu.
  • Before this India’s relations with Bhutan were looked after by our Political Officer in Sikkim.
  • The basic framework of India – Bhutan bilateral relations is the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation of 1949 between the two countries, which was updated and signed during the visit to India of Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in February 2007.
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