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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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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