Monday, July 3, 2017

Understanding Sino - Bhutan Border issues at Doklam. Search for truth

The recent Doklam event has many versions. The Indian media naturally had the versions of their Government though they  shared what the Chinese also said.

More than the Indian media,  it was  Tenzing Lamzang of The Bhutanese who attempted to expound the Indian Government positions/ views upon the Bhutanese public through his lengthy article titled " Understanding the Doklam border issue ".

The best way to seeve the truth is to visit history of various events relating to Sino- Bhutan Border and compare with this recent inflated and manipulated Doklam incident. So now another lengthy article in response to Indian media and Tenzing Lamsang article.

1. Initially from late 1960s and through 70s, the Government of India made attempts to discuss with China on the issue of China- Bhutan international border demarcation.   

2. China rejected all such attempts by India. China maintained that Bhutan which is a sovereign Kingdom should stand for herself and deal directly with China.

3. So India had to permit Bhutan to directly deal with China on the border issue. That was how the Border Talks began between Bhutan and China from the 1980s. Since then 24 rounds of Talks have taken place in most cordial manner. And much progress have been achieved. India was always kept in the loop by Bhutan.

4. It is possible that the public of Bhutan feel that the Talks are taking too long. Similar views also have been aired in the National Assembly of Bhutan . I understand the innocent frustrations. Under the past absolute Monarchy system, people are used to instant decisive decision of a King. Many do not understand the complexities involved in international boundary demarcation. The case is more perplexing since the Government is in no position to bare all the uncomfortable truths including heavy pressures from India to demand more strategic land from China.  

5. Also the Indo- Bhutan international boundary in the South was demarcated so quietly.  The public did not hear anything about Bhutan negotiating with India regarding her international border in the South with India. It is possible that Bhutan was in no position to negotiate. Bhutan is more vulnerable to a takeover by India than by China. Also Bhutan has no access to outside world except through India. And moreover,  Bhutanese economy and commerce are totally dependant on India including travel from West Bhutan to East Bhutan in the South of the Kingdom. Against such geopolitical constrictions, Bhutan probably had to accept at where ever,  the Survey of India decided to lay  the Indo- Bhutan international boundary pillars. Thus the quiet smoothness and the speed when one side makes decision for two sides.

6. The fact that China is willing to negotiate with Bhutan on the international boundary of the two nations is I believe a giant step forward for Bhutanese sovereignty. I am grateful to China for this sovereign courtesy. I am even more grateful to India for all the economic assistance  and freedom of trade and transit that enabled Bhutan to develop thus far. But I do love Bhutan ever more.

7. There is no doubt in my mind that Bhutan would want to finalise the Sino- Bhutan Border Talks and sign the Agreement. Bhutan has to be fully aware of the limitations of demands we can make upon China. And at the same time Bhutan is in no position to ignore the strategic interests of India. There is too much pressure. That is why  Doklam the tri-junction Plateau is drawing multi attentions. It will be a blessing in disguise if China or India forcefully just takeover  Doklam Plateau. The so called status quo is endangering the status of whole of Bhutan. 

8. For Bhutan, Doklam holds no extra strategic significance than any other part of the Kingdom.  But for both India and China, this Tri- junction is considered most vital. Unfortunately for India, the international boundary between Sikkim India and Tibet China at the Doklam Tri-Junction was decided long time back. So as vital as whole of Doklam Plateau is for Indian military strategic interest, there is not much that India can do through her State of Sikkim. The Sikkim door which India possessed is closed.

9. India, therefore, is pushing Bhutan to claim as much as possible the part of Doklam Plateau in the Sino- Bhutan Border Talks. India knows that she has the clout to use Bhutanese territory to serve her strategic interest. So what India herself had forfeited in negotiation with China, she now wants Bhutan to re-claim. This places Bhutan in a very difficult position. Every inch of Bhutanese land is sacred. To claim land for our own is justifiable. But to demand disputed land from China for Indian strategic purposes could endanger Bhutan. In demanding more, Bhutan loses the moral ground  to even claim what is rightfully hers. 

9. Bhutan is placed in a near impossible position. China will never surrender the strategic position that  she had already gained at Doklam Plateau during  negotiation on international boundary with India ( State of Sikkim ). And India is insisting upon  Bhutan to wrest from China larger portion of Doklam Plateau that India could not get whilst negotiating with China on Sikkim-Tibet international boundary.

10. China wants to have better relation with the sovereign Kingdom of Bhutan. And wants to settle the border dispute in the interest of promoting closer ties including diplomatic relationship.  And  China has shown willingness to accommodate Bhutanese requests/ stand in other parts of the northern border. But not at the Tri-Junction where China shares border with Indian State of Sikkim and Bhutan. It seems that  China had made her position clear to India in regards to Doklam status even when negotiating with India on the internal boundary of the State of Sikkim which borders Doklam along with Tibet and Bhutan. There is no way that China will give in to India through Bhutan front. The Government of Bhutan knows this and wants to be realistic and conclude the negotiations without further adieu and sign the Sino- Bhutan Border Agreement. But Bhutan does not dare to sign the Agreement without the nod from India. In the end, China will keep exercising jurisdiction over Doklam Plateau and Bhutan always at merciful generosity of India.  

11. India is worried about the security of her so called chicken neck of the Siliguri corridor and thereby, the Eastern Frontier States.  Maybe that was the reason of takeover of Sikkim. In the same manner, China is worried about the future security of her narrow Chumbi Valley stretch and thereby the whole of Tibet. China seems to considers Doklam Plateau as vital to her as Sikkim is to India. Even then China was willingly to share a part of Doklam Plateau with Bhutan so as to enable an amicable settlement. I feel we have to face the reality. China may not wait forever for Bhutan to get Indian clearance. Chinese security concerns would out weigh any ties including with Bhutan.
 
12. Presently the international boundary in eastern Bhutan has not been demarcated even with India . The sticking point is that Arunachal Pradesh is on the other side. And China claims part of Arunachal. So later, like Doklam, there is bound to be similar Tri- Juction situation. And there, too, China would not be compromising her national security for friendship with Bhutan. So considering all aspects, it may be also in India's interest to let Bhutan sign the Sino-Bhutan Border Agreement. The gesture could contribute towards reaching reasonable agreement towards drawing the Sino- India Arunachal border demarcation. Confidence building is a must in negotiation. 

13.  China will not budge in Sino - Bhutan Border negotiation where Bhutan is deemed to act as a proxy for Indian strategic interests. At times during Sino - Bhutan Border Talks, China may have been suspicious of India directing the negotiations from Bhutan side. And this time with India openly declaring that she had interferred on behalf of Bhutan at Doklam confirms that all along Bhutan has been actually acting as a proxy for Indian Doklam interest. This will harden Chinese resolve. 

14. The Bhutanese Army at Doklam would not  approach the Indian Army stationed on the Sikkim side in regards to any issue with China. Bhutan is well aware that directly involving India is an act of surrendering sovereignty to another nation. It took many years and much diplomatic and political maneuvering to convince India to let Bhutan negotiate directly with China. Bhutanese leaders must demonstrate more courageous wisdom and resolve if Sino- Bhutan Border Agreement  is to be successfully signed.

Response to The Bhutanese.

Tenzing Lamsang the Editor of The Bhutanese,  in his lengthy article claimed that Bhutanese Army tried unsuccessfully to stop the road construction by the Chinese Party and then Indian Army got involved in stopping the construction. I really doubt that Indian Army can ever stop China from doing anything on the land that she claims as her own. Tenzing Lamsang may or may not care of the implication of what he related or claimed. But for sure he does not seem to recognise or acknowledge  how much Bhutan wants to keep Sino- Bhutan Border Talks a sovereign affair of Bhutan.

Tenzing Lamsang may have been just a student studying in a Tibetan School in New Delhi when major incursion by China happened into Bhutan ( northern boundary of Haa Dzongkhag with China Tibet ).  Understandably, Tibetan Schools in India would not have any good things to teach about China. They may even target Bhutan for the troubles Bhutan had with Tibetans in early 1970s. Any way whether Tenzing Lamsang was born or already a studenr, when that Chinese incursion took place, IMTRAT was very much there in Haa. And yet, Bhutan did not seek Indian Army help. 

The King of Bhutan did not turn to Indian Army stationed in Haa Wangchuk LoDzong  to confront the Chinese force. In fact, I believe the IMTRAT in Haa was in disarray probably packing up to leave Bhutan when the Chinese incursion happened. His Majesty commanded a Captain of Royal Bhutan Army to lead an unarmed small RBA force to march up to the extreme northern border of Haa with Tibet. A symbolic act to maintain the integrity of Bhutanese land. And this Captain accomplished the Command of his Supreme Commander. That was how a crisis was averted. Today that Captain is the Chief of Operations of Royal Bhutan Army. As a novice junior RBA Officer, he and his soldiers faced the Chinese troops and paved their way to the border. Now as a General, he can never direct his soldiers at the outpost at Doklam to seek Indian Army help. Not way. Not at all. 

So Tenzing Lamsang, my views are not based on  " desktop musing "   as inferred by you ( my response in your fb post has been deleted by you but it's OK. I have my blog as you have your Newspaper. So I have answered your article in full here ).

I know for a fact that Bhutanese soldiers at Border out -posts take their responsibility sincerely and courageously and independent of Indian Army.  It is an insult to RBA and the nation  to even insinuate that Bhutanese officers and soldiers, on their own,  cannot deal with Chinese forces at the border. I had, therefore, objected to Tenzing Lamsang's  narration to the Bhutanese public the foreign propaganda materials that glorifies Indian Army at the expense of Royal Bhutan Army. RBA may be trained and funded by India but our Defence Force has independant Bhutanese national heart and responsibility. RBA has always fulfilled the task of securing Bhutanese Borders and cleansing the nation of any intruders including from India.  

Conclusion:

Royal Bhutan Army outposts at the Sino- Bhutan border are there to carry out their defence tasks. Our officers and soldiers are not posted there to warm the chilly mountain air with their breath. They do not run to Indian Army to seek help to execute their own national defence task. Numerous Sino- Bhutan incidents have taken place in the past. And in all those incidents,  the Royal Bhutan Army, the Chief of Operations or the Supreme Commander has never sought help of Indian Army to face Chinese troops at the Sino- Bhutan Border. Now if China invades Bhutan, probably His Majesty may seek Indian help. Likewise if India invades Bhutan, His Majesty may seek Chinese assistance. Maybe both will come without even inviting. Until then, Bhutan will deal with what are deemed to be containable conflicts on its own whether in the South or in the north.

For general readers. I have one point of clarification. It is true that within Bhutan,  there are Indian military presences as declared by India.  And yes, Bhutanese Army is trained by India and even funded by India. But all this is not for defence of Bhutan. It is for the security of India. In the defence strategy plan  of India against China, India counts on Bhutan's ability to secure her international borders with China. So Indian military is in Bhutan for defence of India. And likewise Indian Army's recent action at Doklam Plateau has nothing to do with Bhutanese national interest or with Bhutanese Security Force at Doklam.

The demarche issued on 20th June by Bhutan Embassy in New Delhi to Chinese Embassy is a normal happening. Both China and Bhutan follow this diplomatic procedure to air any misgivings or clear any misunderstandings at the borders. The soldiers of China and Bhutan do not engage in unruly jostling or play kapadi kind of pushing and catching game at the Sino- Bhutan border. It must also be noted that the Bhutanese Government referred to road being built in "disputed area". Not " inside undisputed "  Bhutanese territory. It said " maintain status quo" which is different from allegation of encroachment into Bhutanese Security  Force  manned Bhutanese territory.  

The Press Release by Bhutanese Foreign Ministry on 29th June is out of norm. A kind of political " cry Wolf ".  Bhutan usually acts quietly with dignity. Who was Bhutan appealing to in the Press Release with all the history ? If it was China whom we were addressing then there was no need of history as they are party to all the history. This unusual propaganda type of Press Release may have been issued at Indian request to consolidate their weak stand in the international arena. Unfortunately, in so doing, the Bhutanese Government may have further complicated a complex issue. Maybe we need to prayer harder and sincerely for the guidance of Pelden Drukpa.

May Tsawa Soum be in continuous good health. Pelden Drukpa Gyel Lo!    
  

75 comments:

  1. Thanks for the clarification. I enjoyed, at the same-time gained something after going through your well researched, fact based and comprehensive article. Like wise, I would appreciate if you could kindly share your wisdom on Pagsamlung area. There are gossips going on saying about 200 plus sqkm is disputed.

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  2. true.. we are grateful to India for everything and we are also thankful for china for not doing anything. But both giants should respect that Bhutan is sovereign state. we are happy to eat what is in our plate and no one shld take what is ours.

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  3. Wangcha Sangay's knowledge on Bhutanese history is laudable. Its very true that as a sovereign nation Bhutan must deal directly with China. While people like Tenzin Lamzang may have his own reason to encourage India's interference into China-Bhutan border disputes (if any). But I suspect Mr. Tenzin Lamzang wrote the article is with the Druk Gyalkhab's interest at heart. Perhap's his writings have been totally influenced by the Chinese annexation of Tibet. Thats why he seems to be all for India even at the expense of Bhutanese sovereignty.

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    1. I too feel Indian Ambassy office is not required, Tenzin Lamzang itself is enough for India for the information.

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  4. Some people within Bhutan is trying to grab opportunity from this unfortunate border confrontation and mobilize the Bhutanese people against China.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this important pieces of Bhutan's history relating to Sino Bhutan Border issue. You have cleared section of diplomatic doubt that I had for this long. Coming from the Eastern most part of Bhutan sharing the border like the author does in Haa, I know, how they are selective in pushing it's own agenda then that's of our. Thank for your well articulate article

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  6. The best article I have ever read on the issue. I always enjoy reading your articles. Keep enlightening innocent people like me la.

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  7. We get a deeper understanding from the articles of Mr. Wangcha Sangey's through his blog. Sadly this seem to be lacking in our media. Perhaps our so called journalists are ignorant or that they are afraid to say anything that might not please India. I request the author to keep up his good work of enlightening his readers. It would really be nice if he could put these articles in the print media such as Kuensel.

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  8. Thanks for this great and informative article. If India had negotiated with Bhutan on our southern borders like China is doing on our northern borders, the result would have been different. The way China treats Tibetans in Tibet sends wrong message to people in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan and other peoples of Tibetan stocks in the Himalayan regions. During the 1962 war between China and India, China had not encroached inch of Bhutan's territory.

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    1. You mean like how India Rapes Tibetan peoples? Compared to Indians, the Chinese are Angles...

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    2. "The way China treats Tibetans in Tibet sends wrong message to people in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan and other peoples of Tibetan stocks in the Himalayan regions. "

      This narrative of China mistreating Tibetans is just nonsense. It was first created by the British during the Raj time for geopolitical reason because the British wants to carve Tibet out from China. Granted during the "Cultural Revolution" in the 1960s many Tibetan monasteries were destroyed. But this happen all across China and has nothing to do with ethnic suppression. Chinese culture simply don't have this concept of ethnic suppression or religious suppression. Today studies done by Western academics has shown that Tibetans are more nationalistic Chinese than their Han counterparts.

      http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2013/10/bia_20131016.mp3

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    3. The Indians have also Raped And Murdered Bhutanese and Nepalese women and children as if it's normal... Including women and children from the 7 sister states the Indians have invaded, annexed or conquered by force and trickery... Too many articles on that subject, which are all easily found on google and other search engines...

      To add insult to injury, the Indians also verbally attack Bhutanese, Tibetans, Nepalese people as well as people from the 7 sister states, with terrible racist insults and hate slurs such as "chinki", on a daily basis. The Chinese are indeed Angels compared to those Nazi Indians.

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    4. I really don't know from where do u got these facts.We annexed the northeastern parts ?? Yeah we did annexed Sikkim and AP but also Hyderabad which was historically always part of India.Same as Bihar or Punjab.And Kohima,the capital of Nagaland was actually the first capital of Azad India liberated by INA even before we go independence from British.

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  9. I wish your blog shall be read by all Bhutanes, Chinese and Indians. The points in your blog truely resonate wit me.Thank you for that.

    But I have one question. While you agree that Bhutan entirely depend on India for her survival in terms of food or whatever, and then if Bhutan signs its sino-bhutan border agreement independently in the name of sovereign nation that is against the will of India,have you ever thought of th consequences Bhutan will be made face by India? Do you remember how a mere withdrwal of LPG gas has shocked the whole nation?

    My conclusion is Bhutan is at complicated situation.That's all. And your blog too says that and no clear way out. Ofcourse I too agree that it could be blessing in disguise for us if either the gaint takes overDoklam plateau by force. Paldhen Drukpa Gyalo.

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    1. It is a very good article, I appreciate that Mr Wangcha share his opinion as a Bhutanese. And this article has been posted on China Globe Daily newspaper , all Chinese know the truth, and we won't blame and angry with Bhutan.
      It is 21 century now, the border issue should be resolved between two suvereign countries.
      Actually, after the road be built, you have another choice to get electric power, energy supply, food, etc and the tourists which should be issued visa from your ministry of foreign affairs.
      Hope you can determine your own diplomatic affairs as a sovereign state as soon as possible.
      Regards from China

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    2. dear anonymity:

      we must not forget, Bhutan survived without India or Tibet in the past. Except for salt, rest of the live-sustaning articles were manufactured or produced locally on a scale enough to feed the entire nation.

      if Bhutan isolated, we will learn to survive.. history will guide us...the nation has a long history of self-imposed isolation, and this is the only reason why escaped British colonization, not to say how Bhutan survived last to two apocalyptic wars of the past century, under the visionary leaders of the past kings..

      SKO and LPG prices were the political card played by UPA government against Bhutan in 2013, i understand Modi government will also not stopped playing the same card with us over sino-bhutan border also. And few fellow citizens of our rural backwater may go haywire; perhaps, this is the only reason why Bhutan went for parliamentary democracy in the first place! as long as Bhutan is under the leadership of our wise kings, this is not my cause of our worry.. i have confidence in their wisdom.. history substantiates it. They have kept us safe in the past from all the external threats and the internal turmoils, and they will keep Bhutan safe for us in the future.. We all must have faith in our two kings and the democratically-elected government of the day.

      i personally feel diplomacy is the strength of the Bhutanese monarchs of the past and the present.. And we must reply on their unquestionable diplomatic skills to resolve this any kinds of dispute with India or China.
      of note, it was for this reason that our first king of Bhutan, His Majesty Ugyen Wangchuck, earned the Insignia of the Knighted Commander of the British Empire and awarded the the highest civilian Honorary title "Sir"!]

      if this ever happened, which is highly unlikely, i am sure Bhutan will also find enough cards to play against them..

      for now, let us reply on the leadership of our two kings and the democratically elected government of the day..

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  10. Thanks for information ... enjoyed reading

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  11. Yes, the withdrawal of LPG gas shocked lot of people during the 2013 election. The situation then was aggravated by certain political parties for political gains. But if the Bhutanese people were more informed and patriotic, we could not be affected as much as it was made to sound. Therefore, we let ourselves played into Indian hands. Look at our neighbouring country Nepal. They stood up for their sovereignty. They were quite resilent against Indian pressure. Perhaps Bhutan too could look at Nepal when it comes to pursuing independent foreign policy. Ofcourse, we may have to bear some difficulties. But its worth it and we owe it to our beloved country and our future generations. I feel the time is now to start fight against bullies and charter the course of our country's destiny, otherwise I am afraid that Bhutan will be become more dependent on India and ultimately whats at stake will be our independence and sovereignty. Wake up, fellow Bhutanese.

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  12. Under the headline, "India will suffer worse losses than in 1962 if it incites border clash" the newspaper Global Timws said that New Delhi needed to be taught "a bitter lesson" for allegedly trespassing across the border in Sikkim border, known in China as Donglang.
    The headline refers to the year China launched offensives against India in the Ladakh region.
    “We firmly believe that the face-off in the Donglang area will end up with the Indian troops in retreat," the editorial said. "The Indian military can choose to return to its territory with dignity, or be kicked out of the area by Chinese soldiers.”

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  13. I was having lots of doubts in my mind till today. Thank you the author you have solved it all. Now I know some of the truth I promise to work out my ways to reduce dependency of Bhutan. Pelden Drukpa Gyelo.

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  14. Bhutan, an independent sovereign state, needs to have its own views, or it will be the next Sikkim

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  15. Bhutan, an independent sovereign state, needs to have its own views, or it will be the next Sikkim

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  16. How ungrateful can you or Bhutanese citizens be???
    India has spend nearly 100billion rupees on Bhutan to boost its economy. Provided all the essentials and boosted it's trade (98% of material Bhutan exports is to India and 90% imports from India), trained your men in armed combat and helped you without any hesitation. Even PM modi promised another stimulus package for IT and digital sector. Then also you are spewing venom against India. Maybe India should put economic sanctions against Bhutan and make it truly landlocked? Or worse should simply annex it? Or Worse would be annexation by China into their totalitarian regime? It's good to see that atleast your politicians are taking good decision which would truly protect Bhutan because after spending so much money on you India atleast expects some help in protecting her sovereignty

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    1. you try and annex us, Bhutan will be the worst nightmare for India... don't give such an irresponsible comment on Bhutan.. know for a fact that it was Nehru who first approached for the hand of friendship, not Bhutan..he offered india's assistance to develop the country, this is how your border road organizations (BRO) came to build the roads in Bhutan; they're basically building roads for your armies in the country (IMTRAT).. I know you have a code name for IMTRAT.. something like Bhutan-Tibet Border Sooragshahh... first you came as a guest in my house and now you want your own room in my house and you want me to feed you also..this is called overstepping..we get assistance from India, but not without a cost.. now you're claiming our sovereignty? we will fight to the last man and the bullet to defend our country.....don't worry about our border with China.. worry about your own people of Sikkim and Darjeeling, instead..

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    2. Full of threat and bullying comments! Great response!

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    3. Aashish Patra, let me share this, from AK Bardalai with you:

      " And when we give aid to a country, we don't have to remind that country that they can't walk without our crutch. Bhutan fortunately has wise ones like their Kings who only see the interest of their country and the people. We have never learnt from our own mistakes. We can at least learn from our good neighbour. It will be wise to invest more in what the King advises and less on falling into China's trap and expecting help from big powers whose positions in any case forever keep shifting."

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  17. Anti Incumbency is Not New ,Yet it is surprising that You speak so eloquently about China at this Juncture. The voice should have been raised when China ENCROACHED Tibet. Bhutan Should Have Developed Relations with China, Instead Of India. Brave citizens of a country like Bhutan should have supported and favoured China over India. This never happened. Bhutan wanted India to Protect it's Borders from the Good Chinese Nations. Question Being that why is Bhutanese Ego suddenly trying to see everything good in China. Go back in History , China Or India never asked favours from Bhutan.Bhutan has been friendly to India for obvious reasons and Bhutan should not question the motives of A good friend, at least when your Friend is fighting for the Interest of Both Countries. It is Not that complicated,Pls think about it.

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    1. The Bhutanese armies already stated that it didn't need Indias' help in defence of its borders.
      Indian presence in Bhutan creates more problem and is more about self-serving than anything else.

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    2. kingdom of Sikkim, how about the reasult now?

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  18. At Doklam India seems to have transgressed into Chinese land. And when caught and challenged,India hides behind Bhutan. India should fight her own war. Leave Bhutan out. There are no good friend and no assistance of genuine nature. So forget about freebies. India was never called to shield Bhutan. Rather India had wanted to use Bhutanese territory as her front line defence against China.

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    1. You have summed it up correctly.
      China doesn't want to forcefully take the land it thinks it has claim over, but prefer to negotiate and bring a happy outcome on both side. If China was aggressive and greedy China could have taken and occupied a good size of Indian's land after defeating pushing Indians deep inland during in border skirmish of 1962.But China move back to the original position to show to the Indian that Chinese are honourable and believe in a negotiated settlement and not occupy by force. Maybe China was naive and made this mistake and Indian think that it's China's weakness.
      Indian has been growing lately but it's still a fifth of China's economy and had been spending a lot on importing foreign arms and have this false confidence and bravado and think they can take on China militarily. But, you know what most Chinese think of Indian's behaviour it's like facing an immature ruffian that doesn't know its place. But it's also a dilemma for China as China is in the midst of building the greatest project of the century OBOR that is going to connect all of Asia, Central Asia, Africa and Europe by road and to Africa that is going to benefit a lot of countries and people of all participating countries and any kind of arm conflicts is going to have a destabilising effects on the projects and China is showing utmost restraint.
      With China's road build close to Bhutan it'll free Bhutan and give an alternative option to trade and other relationship with China and not be beholden to anyone or follow any ones diktat. A true sovereign state. Just as what Nepal had done. Nepal is pleading China to build railway right into Nepal for the benefits of trade, commerce and travels-tourism and lift the living standard of the people.
      May Buddha's blessings reign over Bhutan.

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    2. Wangcha Sangey Calm down India never blamed Bhutan for anything. India blamed China for entering Bhutan territory or the disputed territory.

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  19. Wangcha Sangey , Sir ,A Sovereign Like Bhutan is always free to choose it's friend as well as foe.It is even understood when new alignments are made ,But is it not expected that old friends discuss with each other the new found love before putting the security concerns of each other before CHANGING sides.It looks as if Bhutan has suddenly developed a stigma towards India.And in the process wants to expose an old friend's weaknesses to a new found friend. The general perception of the Indian Masses being that Bhutan is a friend .So, is it wrong to expect a friend to share security concerns that will effect Both the Nations. China , no doubt will be a powerful ally to Bhutan, But is it fair to leave an old friend for the sake of being with a new found and powerful friend ? You would give friendship a bad name .Friends are supposed to watch each other's back and Old friends do not Expose each other's Weeknesses .China and India are matured and vast Nations and will sort out their differences in due time,and then,maybe Bhutan will have a Lot to Answer the World .

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    1. Dear Mr. Kanu Roy, Why did India claim that Bhutan Army asked Indian Army for help in dealing with Chinese Construction Party. Such blatant lies does not respect Bhutanese sovereignty. There were countless such small frictions at Sino Bhutan borders in the past. Bhutan Army dealt with all these without ever involving Indian Army. If India is having its own confrontation with China, I would have respected India and never wrote about it. But falsely demeaning Bhutan Army courage and resolve in defending Bhutanese border was shameful of India. Bhutan does not back China against India and I am defending the honest and true integrity of Bhutan Army not China. Truth will surface gradually at what happened at Doklam this time.

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    2. Dear Mr. Kanu Roy, Why did India claim that Bhutan Army asked Indian Army for help in dealing with Chinese Construction Party. Such blatant lies does not respect Bhutanese sovereignty. There were countless such small frictions at Sino Bhutan borders in the past. Bhutan Army dealt with all these without ever involving Indian Army. If India is having its own confrontation with China, I would have respected India and never wrote about it. But falsely demeaning Bhutan Army courage and resolve in defending Bhutanese border was shameful of India. Bhutan does not back China against India and I am defending the honest and true integrity of Bhutan Army not China. Truth will surface gradually at what happened at Doklam this time.

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    3. kanu roy As an American who cares for India let me tell you one thing straight. In today's world money is everything and the prime driver. Small country like Bhutan sees China as a bigger cash cow compared to India.How much ever India has helped Bhutan till now is insignificant.

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    4. There would have been countless small fictions between Bhutan and China but the current friction is too big for Bhutan to handle alone. So the Indian army had to step in. You can have pride in your army but should also know the reality. No offense to Bhutan but India being an Elephant can at least give a good fight and has higher chances off blocking the dragon China when compared to the Bhutan army which is ant in front of dragon. Firstly the tri junction may not be of strategic value for you but it is your land which has hosted your culture all these years and maybe useful for the future generation Bhutanese. After this comes the strategic value for India which India is ready to deal by standing with Bhutan. Take an example If you have a daughter and one day a group of goons enter your house and try to take her away, will just give her of because you are too weak to fight them? or will call all your neighbors for help? Even animals fight till their last breath when you try to take away their offspring. All Bhutan needs to do is to stand its ground and maintain its position with china. And even if things do escalade the two giants India and China will fight each other and Bhutan is gonna stay unaffected. I hope the people in Bhutanese govt are not a spineless ignorant coward like you are.

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    5. Spineless is one who hides his identity. India is not talking of fighting China. She is seeking a way out by blaming Bhutan.

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    6. Spineless is one who hides his identity. India is not talking of fighting China. She is seeking a way out by blaming Bhutan.

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    7. Spineless is one who hides his identity. India is not talking of fighting China. She is seeking a way out by blaming Bhutan.

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    8. Spineless is one who hides his identity. India is not talking of fighting China. She is seeking a way out by blaming Bhutan.

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    9. Choose your friends carefully. It's kinda clear who is controlling you.yes 1950s were different as Bhutans link to civilized world was through India but should you stay in 1950s.india is fairly modern now.

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  20. Thank you Mr. Sangey for this very informative article! I hope the Bhutanese people will read your article and know the truth. I am a Chinese. I myself and all my Chinese friends love Bhutan, such a peaceful and beautiful country! We would hate to see her face any possibility of a fate similar to Sikkim!

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    1. I myself would hate to see Bhutan suffer a similar fate like Tibet! At least, Sikkimese people still have freedom of expression and democracy unlike Tibet.

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    2. You mean the type of freedom of speech like the votes to join India cast by roughly one hundred thousand Sikkimese people under more than one hundred thousand guns of the India army? I think it was the very opposite of "free".

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    3. I read that the Sikkimese were given a choice to vote between monarchy and democracy. But they weren't told that voting for democracy meant becoming part of India. The whole voting was a joke, it was heavily manipulated by India.

      Anyway the West (mostly British and US) and India has been trying to brainwash the world that the Tibetans in China are oppressed for different reasons. The British because of its colonial design on Tibet when they were running the show in South Asia and the US because of fighting against Communism. India has its own considerations, one of them is to use it as scare tactics to drive its smaller neighbors towards India, not to mention of India's own design on Tibet. The great historic monastic town Tawang, birthplace of the Sixth Dalai Lama and home to a four hundred years old Tibetan monastery, was invaded and annexed by India in 1951 and occupied to this day. As we speak the Tibetans there under India rule are enjoying the freedom of expression and democracy called AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Power Act).

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    4. The Chinese has learned from its own history that the best way to serve its own interest, when it comes to international relations, is to respect others' reasonable interest and treat its neighbors on a fair and equal basis, no matter how small or large they are. India, colonized by the British for a very long time itself and treated like slaves during that time, however, wants to pick up the tricks abandoned by the British, and colonize or outright annex its neighbors. I have no idea why the Indian government thinks this approach makes their country safer. I think it is the opposite. Take Sikkim as an example. Sikkim would have served as a good strategic buffer for India if it had stayed as an independent country, which is how it should be. And why would the Indian government expect that the Chinese, with a much stronger military and much more vast resources, would accept a "military upper hand" in Doklam imposed on them by India as a starting point for negotiation? Hope the Indian government will become wiser very quickly!

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  21. Bhutan has no freedom to choose, when 95% of its trade is with India. With this newly built road, we can expect more trade with China, and Bhutan will be free from the bully of India. Just like Nepal, a country which used to surrender when India closed its boarders; but with the Chinese trucks from the northern board, Nepal can withstand India's sanctions. A China presence will also save Bhutan from a fate like Sikkim. If China was as powerful in the 1970s as nowadays, India would not dare to gobble up the sovereign Kingdom of Sikkim.

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    1. Absolutely. Sikkim was actually annexed once before by Nepal in the late 18th century but Sikkim asked China for help. China (Qing dynasty) at that time was still very strong and she sent in army to repel the Nepalese and restore the kingdom of Sikkim. It is very unfortunate that the next time Sikkim was annexed China was weak and was unable to do anything. China is the last country to give up recognizing Sikkim's independence but as an editorial in the Global Times notes it is not impossible for China to reverse its stance. I hope that Sikkim will be free one day.

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  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  23. Mr. Aashish patra, the fact that Bhutan do not have any direct relation with China till date despite porous border with china in the north and Ofcourse the impending border dispute is a solid evidence of sacrifice that bhutanese are trust worthy and not ungrateful people as you allege.

    We vividly remember the seeds of friendship planted by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1958 in Paro which i am sure was based on our mutual strategic interest and reality and nothing on humanitarian.

    Similarly let us not pour acid rather protect this great plant from pest and diseases so that it will keep on bearing fresh fruits for us and our future generations. I suggest we synchronize ourselves and move forward with changing time and development but with trust and confidence with each other rather then being portrait as a jealous couple.

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  24. The dragon is bullying everyone around :) This time the real target is Arunachal Pradesh. In 1962 they made roads and India did not notice for around 6 years until China attacked. This time they noticed, but still don't know what will happen in next 6 years. China is preparing. The real plan is to take Siliguri in India and cut its access to its North-Eastern states so that they can easily occupie Arunachal.

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    1. You are a stinky liar . If China wanted Arunachal land it could have easily occupied it in 1962. Why need to withdraw?

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  25. There is much to gain from having a good relation with China. This does not mean that we will turn our back towards India. Bhutan must continue to have good relation with India and at the same time have diplomatic relation with china. If India is truly a friend of Bhutan she should not object Bhutan becoming friends with China.
    It seems that Bhutan has no problem with China at the moment. Its just that India is using Bhutan as a bargaining chip for their own advantage. Thats why Bhutan should not let herself to be used in this power play between 2 gaint neighbours.

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  26. British is the main culprit here.. India fought its colonial yoke long time ago, but India inherited it and they still subject us to the colonial British dictation.. India fought its freedom from the British, maybe its time we fight to free ourselves from this colonial obligations of the past..submitting ourselves to India, we have lost more lands to China and India.. maybe we should ask British government to mend their past mistake....

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    1. The answer should be sort out through talk between Bhutan and China. Leave UK out of this matter. UK has done enough.

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  27. Being Chinese, I don't see there is any problem if Bhutan choose to be cool to China or to India. Actually, I think it is a good attitude for Bhutan.Relying too much on one can be the picture you see today.

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  28. Thank you for the in depth clarification of the ongoing India-China confrontation at the Sino-Bhutan border of Doklam. It is truly educational.

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  29. For general readers. I have one point of clarification. It is true that within Bhutan, there are Indian military presences as declared by India. And yes, Bhutanese Army is trained by India and even funded by India. But all this is not for defence of Bhutan. It is for the security of India. In the defence strategy plan of India against China, India counts on Bhutan's ability to secure her international borders with China. So Indian military is in Bhutan for defence of India. And likewise Indian Army's recent action at Doklam Plateau has nothing to do with Bhutanese national interest or with Bhutanese Security Force at Doklam.
    [ Everything in this paragraph is contradiction of All your previous arguments and You accept what India is Doing in Bhutan or Else China as Always will OWN you. Simple examples lie in Far away lands as Africa;
    “A Leopard does Not change its spots”]

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  30. You guys have no idea what it feels to be under the sphere of direct Chinese influence! Look at the current situation in Tibet and tell me you're not fortunate to be under the protection of Inda. If not for your King who was a smart visionary and an adept political operator, Bhutan will probably be in the same situation as Tibet right now. Just in case you didn't know, Tibet is more closed to foreign media than North Korea!
    That being said, India has to tread carefully in places like Bhutan and Nepal to not project themselves as a colonial master and lose the goodwill of its people.
    Bhutan has more to lose rather than gain by siding with China. Period!

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    1. For those outside, one cannot accurately comment how life is for the majority in Tibet. But it is quite clear that there is no desire for the majority to leave Tibet because those who come on pilgrimage to India from Tibet do return back. Seems India is not that attractive to such Tibetans.

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    2. For those outside, one cannot accurately comment how life is for the majority in Tibet. But it is quite clear that there is no desire for the majority to leave Tibet because those who come on pilgrimage to India from Tibet do return back. Seems India is not that attractive to such Tibetans.

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    3. Tibet enjoys a GDP per capita of $5,000 as of 2016 (or $9,000 for ppp) Both numbers are way higher than those of India's

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    4. Don't pretend to know about Tibetans inside Tibet when you clearly don't have a clue about the present situation there. When India was under the British rule, did all Indians leave India to never return back? We all know now that Indians were not happy to live under the British occupation, that's why they fought and eventually won their independence. The same applies to Tibetans inside Tibet! They return back to Tibet coz it's their ancestral home and have families there. I say this because I still have cousins still living inside Tibet and not some arm chair expert on Tibet from Bhutan! Maybe if you do more research coz Google is not banned in Bhutan unlike Tibet, you won't be making such comments.

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    5. Google isn't banned in China . Well hypocrite how do explain how internet itself is banned in many dates in India ?

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  31. Here is a very informative discussion of this issue by panelists from India and China.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWBu3dDsEE8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpvG4vGNcKs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roXCDLLneB0

    The discussion also shed light that Bhutan disputes the Donglang region as late as 2000, almost for sure under the direction and pressure from India. This is probably one of the reasons why the border talks between Bhutan and China stalled, which is what India likes to see.

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  32. You did remove some information in Sl no 10, in your article, Didn't you? And why is that? Was it a wrong information? Or a typo mistake?

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  33. Haha you are in stage of hallucination. I might have corrected spelling mistakes but I do not need to add or delete an article once posted. I stand by what I post.

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  34. Haha you are in stage of hallucination. I might have corrected spelling mistakes but I do not need to add or delete an article once posted. I stand by what I post.

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  35. Anonymity Begets Foolhardiness ! There are many comments posted by ANONYMOUS writers. These posts are going way beyond the Subject Matter. The Sister States are being unnecessarily discussed. This has nothing to do with the Present Crisis. Please talk about Bhutan Nepal China etc. Please refrain from commenting on Sikkim &Sister States. No one has the right to comment on India's Internal Politics.

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  36. Kulbhushan PrakashJuly 19, 2017 at 4:39 AM

    This author is stupid as he simply overlooks or intentionally doesn't mention the fact that it China who broke the status quo in first place. He also ignores the fact that Doklam is not only strategic to India and China, but it is strategic to Bhutan too as China will not be too far from reaching Thimpu. What happened exactly only top defense officials or bureaucrats would know but Bhutan Government and Army never spoke against or disagree at any point against Indian version of the ongoing standoff. So better give up this hate mongering as these things are much beyond our understanding and lets unite on one fact that China has changed the status quo which it shouldn't and it will pay the price for trampling the agreement with Bhutan to maintain the status quo. If war is coming India and Bhutan will face it together and defeat the vicious plans of the enemy.

    Also if India hating Bhutanese have real concern they may raise this politically within own country and strengthen their democracy. But I think such people are very few and they don't have any takers back home. As Bhutan Army or Government still think India as their best friend, give their intellectualism some respect and find out the reasons in history.

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  37. Great post, Bhutan need to realized India poses a FAR greater threat to Bhutan than China.

    You guys need to shake off the yoke of Indian oppressor and stand on your own (Nepal did it, you can do it too!!!), in the past decades China have successful negotiated land border dispute with Vietnam Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan with all party's satisfaction.

    The only nation that is China fail to come to agreement is with India.

    China treat its neighbor fairly, and China like to talk to Bhutan directly, its India that is meddling in your nation and prevent you from making friends with China.

    Stand up, throw off the Indian overlords!!

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  38. Thank you Mr. Wangcha Sangey for allowing me to have a better understanding of the real situation in Doklam. I am really sorry for the Bhutanese people for having to tolerate the overlord-like demanding attitude of those in power in Delhi. There is no reason why India should not have ordinary friendly ties with China. A cordial between the two giant neighbours is not only good for Bhutan but for all the nations in the Sub-Continent.

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  39. Please also have a look at this article published recently. http://www.rediff.com/news/special/india-china-stand-off-the-truth-from-the-dragons-mouth/20170810.htm

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