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Warming ties

  • Published
    26th Oct, 2023


Bhutan's Foreign Minister's historic visit to China, resuming boundary talks, raises concerns for India's security interests and diplomatic relations.

Unprecedented Bhutan-China Talks

  • Historic Visit: Bhutan's Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji's visit to China is remarkable. Bhutan and China lack diplomatic ties, making this visit unprecedented.
  • Boundary Talks Resumed: Talks focused on boundary issues after a seven-year hiatus, marking a significant step forward.
  • Cooperation Agreement Signed: Both nations signed a cooperation pact, forming a joint technical team for boundary delimitation and demarcation.

India's Concerns and Bhutan's Assurance

  • India's Wary Stance: India, Bhutan's close ally, is cautious about Bhutan establishing diplomatic ties with China and signing a boundary agreement.
  • Inevitable Diplomatic Ties: Despite India's concerns, the establishment of diplomatic relations and a boundary agreement between Bhutan and China seems likely.
  • Bhutan's Assurance to India: Bhutan's Prime Minister assured that any agreement with China will not compromise India's interests.

India's Strategy and Lessons from Doklam Crisis

  • India's Security Concerns: India aims to safeguard its interests, particularly in preventing China's proximity to the vital Siliguri corridor.
  • Collaborative Approach with Bhutan: The 2017 Doklam crisis taught India the importance of aligning strategies with Bhutan, rather than expecting compliance from an independent nation.
  • Balancing Interests: A border agreement addressing Bhutan's concerns while upholding India's interests can be mutually beneficial.
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