What is it all About?

  • On  June  2017,  Chinese  troops  tried  to  extend  a  road  southward  from  their  position towards the Doka La pass located in Bhutan. The Indian troops moved ahead to stop the Chinese transgression.
  • Location: It is a tri junction between Bhutan’s Ha Valley, Sikkim (India) and Chumbi valley of Tibet.
  • India’s Concern: Strategic location of Doklam dives access to the Chicken’s Neck corridor of the Siliguri corridor, which connects mainland India with its North-Eastern region.

Chinese Issue:

  • China is at militarily disadvantageous position in the location as Indian troops have the higher ground in the valley. Thus, only India has a commanding view or access to the Siliguri corridor.
  • Also China alleges that India has trespassed into their territory (refer map) and that India cannot take part in the bilateral border dispute between China and Bhutan.

Bhutan’s stand:

  • Bhutanese PM has reiterated its previous stand that China Must Maintain The Status Quo in the Region. also, both the nations should avoid any unilateral action in the trijunction where Bhutan is the main stakeholder.

India – Bhutan Ties:

Recent Issues:

  • Mangedchu hydropower Project – Constructed on the Himalayan River Torsha. India is major contributor to the project with 4500 crore rupees.  30% of  shich has been given as grant and 70% as loan. It is one of the 10 Mega-hydropower projects that India plans  to  construct  in  Bhutan  to  generate  10,000MW  hydropower  by  2020.  It  is  a  green hydropower  project  which  is  estimated  to  generate  2923GWh  of  green  electricity  while offsetting 2.2 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide per year from the atmosphere.
  • Other Issues: BBIN project, Standstill on SAARC.

BBIN Project:

  • India initiated this project to improve the connectivity in the North East region by building seamless connectivity between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. However, Bhutan opposes this project due to its concerns over the environment, tradition and culture. The Himalayan state gives utmost importance to its pristine environment and spirituality.

Standstill on SAARC:

  • SAARC  summit  has  not  taken  place  since  2014.  India  is  now  using  BIMSTEC  as  an alternative to SAARC  to engage with the South Asian  nations. However, Bhutan believes that  SAARC needs to be revived so that  there is friendly engagement  between India and Pakistan, thus leading to peace and stability in South Asia.
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