In a recent development surrounding Doklam, the government of Bhutan has refuted Chinese claims of Thimpu telling Beijing that the territory in the Sikkim sector does not belong to Bhutan.
The Doklam pass that lies on the trilateral border of India, China and Bhutan, near Sikkim has been a point of a standoff between India and China for more than a month. This happened as the Chinese Army tried to construct a road in Doklam, a territory which belongs to Bhutan and the Indian Army stopped China from doing so. Ever since then, there has been a stand-off between India and China over the issue of Doklam.
According to Wang Wenli, deputy director general of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of China, through its diplomatic channels, Bhutan has conveyed to Beijing that Doklam, the area of the standoff is not Bhutan’s territory. This information was further conveyed by Wang to a visiting Indian media delegation. This claim of China wasn’t, however, supported by any evidence. The claim has reportedly been strongly denied by Bhutan.
It is important to note that on June 29, Bhutan had issued a press release in its reaction to the situation in Doklam. In the press release, it was stated that construction of road inside the territory of Bhutan is a direct violation of the agreements and affects the demarcation of boundaries between the countries. Bhutan had also stated that the Chinese Army had started constructing a road in Doklam from Dokola towards the Bhutan Army camp on June 16, 2017.
The press release further said that talks between China and Bhutan on the issue of boundary were under way and the two countries had written agreements in 1988 and 1998 specifying that they agree to maintain peace and tranquility in the areas around the border are impending a final settlement on the issue of the boundary.
Bhutan and China have also agreed to maintain the status quo on the border as before March 1959 and abstain from taking any unilateral action or using force for the purpose of altering the status quo of the boundary. Therefore, Bhutan has called for status quo to be maintained in Doklam area as before June 2017.