China says ready for fair border so­lu­tion with Bhutan

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

BEI­JING: China to­day made a strong pitch to im­prove re­la­tions with Bhutan and ex­pressed readi­ness for an early and “fair” so­lu­tion to their boundary dis­pute, amid ef­forts by the new In­dian govern­ment to ce­ment ties with Thimpu.

State Coun­cil­lor Yang Jiechi, the high­est diplo­mat in China’s hi­er­ar­chy, called for a com­pre­hen­sive so­lu­tion to the China- Bhutan boundary is­sue when he met vis­it­ing Bhutanese For­eign Min­is­ter Rinzin Dorje.

Yang, China’s point­man to dis­cuss boundary is­sues with In­dia, said China is will­ing to work with Bhutan “to reach a fair, rea­son­able so­lu­tion that is ac­cept­able to both sides at an early date so as to push for­ward bi­lat­eral ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous fields,” state- run Xin­hua news agency re­ported.

China and Bhutan on Fri­day held the 22nd round of boundary talks in Bei­jing to re­solve is­sues sur­round­ing dis­puted land, which also bor­ders In­dia’s north­east­ern states of Sikkim and Arunan­chal Pradesh.

Dorje is vis­it­ing China af­ter last month’s high­pro­file visit of Modi to Bhutan, the first for­eign visit by the In­dian prime min­is­ter, send­ing a strong mes­sage to ac­cord pri­or­ity to take ties with Thim­phu to a new high.

Dorje said Bhutan at­taches great im­por­tance to re­la­tions with China and is com­mit­ted to solve the boundary is­sue at an early date.

For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi also met Dorje to­day. He said although the two coun­tries have not es­tab­lished diplomatic ties, China has al­ways ad­hered to a good­neigh­bor pol­icy to­wards Bhutan.

Bhutan has re­mained aloof from China since 1951 af­ter Bei­jing took firm con­trol of Ti­bet, which shared bor­ders with the Hi­malayan King­dom.

Re­la­tions be­tween Bei­jing and Thim­phu re­mained tra­di­tion­ally strained due to border dis­putes.

The two coun­tries held 22 rounds of talks to re­solve the dis­pute. They signed an agree­ment promis­ing to “main­tain peace and tran­quil­ity on the Bhutan- China border ar­eas,” in 1998.

China shares 470- km­long con­tigu­ous border with Bhutan, which is also close to In­dia’s “chicken’s neck” - the nar­row Silig­uri Cor­ri­dor which links the north­east pas­sage.

Any set­tle­ment of the Bhutan- China border dis­pute would be sig­nif­i­cant for In­dia as Chumbi Val­ley, a vi­tal tri- junc­tion be­tween Bhutan, In­dia and China is just about 500 km from Silig­uri cor­ri­dor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.