Bhutan, China sign pact on border talks, India takes note

India said Thursday it had “noted” the agreement between Bhutan and China on a “three-step road map” to speed up negotiations to resolve their border dispute.

The signing of the pact came four years after the Indian and Chinese armies were stranded in a 73-day standoff at the Doklam tri-junction after China attempted to extend a road in the region which Bhutan claims it belonged.

“We took note of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Bhutan and China today. You know that Bhutan and China have been conducting border negotiations since 1984. India is also conducting border negotiations with China, ”Foreign Ministry official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

In a statement, Bhutan said its Foreign Minister Lyonpo Tandi Dorji and Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao on Thursday signed the memorandum of understanding on the “three-step roadmap” for speed up negotiations on the border between Bhutan and China. “The memorandum of understanding on the three-step roadmap will give new impetus to the border talks,” Bhutanese foreign ministry said.

It is expected that the implementation of this roadmap in a spirit of goodwill, understanding and accommodation will bring the border negotiations to a successful conclusion that is acceptable to both sides, he said. -he declares.

“The negotiations which were conducted in a spirit of understanding and accommodation were guided by the 1988 Joint Communiqué on the Guiding Principles for the Border Settlement and the 1998 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace, tranquility and status quo in Bhutan. Border areas with China, ”said the Bhutanese foreign ministry.

“At the 10th expert group meeting in Kunming in April this year, the two sides agreed on a three-step roadmap that will build on the 1988 guiding principles and help speed up border negotiations. ongoing, ”he said.

Bhutan shares a border over 400 km long with China, and the two countries have held more than 24 rounds of border talks in a bid to resolve the dispute.

With PTI