Amidst its standoff with India at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), China’s expansionist policies have taken a new turn.
The middle kingdom is looking to settle the central and western boundaries with Bhutan on its own terms, using the threat of the People Liberation Army (PLA), Hindustan Times has reported.
Almost 25 rounds of talks have taken place between the two countries regarding this and it is now learnt that the PLA might trade off its aggressive movements in central Bhutan with the land that the Chinese have already encroached in the western part of the country.
The origin of this ongoing crisis dates back to mid-2017 when China had attempted to compel India and Bhutan to agree that its boundary extends to Gyemochen on Jhampheri ridge. The alignment of the junction of these three nations is Sinche la -Batang La axis, where the Chinese border is considered to be currently.
The Indian Army had thwarted PLA’s attempt back then during the Doklam standoff. This time around, the PLA has massively scaled up the construction of roads, bridges and infrastructure to stake a claim in its transgressions in the region. As of now, China makes a claim of 318 square kilometre and 496 square kilometre in the western and central sectors of Bhutan respectively.
In an official statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry admitted that the boundary lines between them and Bhutan remains unsettled. “The boundary between China and Bhutan has never been delimited. There have been disputes over the eastern, central and western sectors for a long time,” the declaration read.
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