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China – Bhutan -- India UPSC NOTE

 Bhutan's recent diplomatic engagement with China

  • Bhutan's diplomatic engagement with China has increased in recent years.

  • The two countries not having formal diplomatic relations. 

This is likely due to a number of factors,

  1. China's growing economic and military power

  2. Bhutan's desire to improve its relations with all of its neighbors

  3. Bhutan's need to resolve its border disputes with China

In 2021, Bhutan and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the "Three-Step Roadmap" for accelerating the Sino-Bhutan border negotiations. 

Bhutan's recent diplomatic engagement with China

  • This was a significant development, both countries are committed to resolving their border disputes peacefully.

The three-step roadmap involves the following:

  1. Exchange of views on the boundary alignment

  2. Joint field surveys

  3. Conclusion of a boundary agreement

The two countries have already completed the first step of the roadmap .

The implications for India

  • Bhutan's recent diplomatic engagement with China has a number of implications for India, both positive and negative.

On the positive side, 

  • India can view Bhutan's engagement with China ,trying to maintain a balanced foreign policy

  • If Bhutan is able to successfully resolve its border disputes with China, this could create a more positive atmosphere for dialogue and cooperation between India and China.

The implications for India

On the Negative side,

  • China could use its economic and military power to pressure Bhutan into making concessions on its border claims. 

  • This could lead to a loss of Indian influence in Bhutan and a shift in the balance of power in the region in China's favor.

  • China could use its influence in Bhutan to gain access to strategic areas that are important to India's security

  • China is already building a road network in Tibet that could allow it to bypass the Siliguri Corridor.

India's concerns and interests

India’s Concerns,

  • China's growing economic and military power, and its increasing assertiveness in the region.

  • The possibility of China using its influence in Bhutan to pressure in making concessions on its border claims. Gain access to strategic areas that are important to India's security.

  • The potential for China to use Bhutan to bypass the Siliguri Corridor.

  • The possibility of China using Bhutan as a staging ground for military operations against India.

India's concerns and interests

India’s Interest,

  • Maintaining Bhutan as a close ally and a buffer against Chinese encroachment.

  • Preventing Bhutan from becoming too dependent on China.

  • Improving the India-China relationship through Bhutan's mediation.

  • Promoting peace and stability in the region.

Need for India to work closely with Bhutan

  • Bhutan is a strategically important buffer state for India. 

  • Bhutan’s location in the eastern Himalayas makes it a key gateway to India's northeast. 

  • If Bhutan were to fall under Chinese control, it would pose a serious threat to India's security.

  • China has invested heavily in Bhutan's infrastructure and economy, and it is also engaged in a number of bilateral security and intelligence agreements

  • India needs to work with Bhutan to ensure that China's growing influence does not undermine India's interests in the region.

  • India and Bhutan have a long history of close ties, and they share a number of common interests, including security, economic development, and culture



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: China – Bhutan -- India UPSC NOTE
China – Bhutan -- India UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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