China repeats claim on Bhutan’s east


The “Solution Package” offered to Bhutan by China revives a reference from its 1996 proposal for a territory swap between the two nations, which would give the northern passes to Bhutan in exchange of its western pastoral land including the Dokhlam plateau to China. The Chinese MFA also repeated its claim over the eastern borders of Bhutan at Sakteng, which the experts view as a new pressure tactic by China. The problem lies in the demarcated boundary between Bhutan and China which includes Bhutan’s eastern, western, and middle section. China offered a solution to this problem with a territory swap agreement. The Chinese also tried to stop funding of the Sakteng Forest Sanctuary of Bhutan which has its borders with Arunachal Pradesh at the Global Environment Facility led by UNDP, claiming it to be a disputed area. It was the first time that the Chinese rose their voices and concerns about the eastern borders, while several rounds of border talks had already happened with China. The Indian MFA or the Bhutanese MFA have not yet reacted to these Chinese claims.

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