India is pushing Bhutan to settle its border issue with China to enable New Delhi to define the trijunction area of Doklam, ThePrint has learnt. There are, however, fears that Beijing is doing a South China Sea in Bhutan — gradually taking over land.
According to official sources, India is concerned that Beijing is raking up the border issue with Thimpu to harass New Delhi due to the ongoing border dispute at the Ladakh sector along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Sources, however, said Bhutan will now have to take a “strong stance” against China before it becomes too late for them to start negotiations on the border issue. This will enable India to push China to discuss the trijunction area around Doklam.
“They have their own talks with China on boundary and are keen to reach settlement. This will also help us define the trijunction,” a top official told ThePrint on condition of anonymity.
Last week, a Chinese journalist sparked controversy after tweeting, and then deleting, the map of a new village of the country. Satellite imagery analysts claimed the village was two kilometres inside Bhutanese territory and near the Doklam Plateau but Bhutan has contested the analysis.
Major General Vetsop Namgyel, Ambassador of Bhutan to India, denied the claims of Chinese villages inside the territory of his country. “There are no Chinese villages inside Bhutan. These satellite images are all incorrect … Yes, we have border discussion going on with China and that process is on,” he told ThePrint.
Bhutan and China have held 24 rounds of border talks bilaterally.