Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Why diplomatic relationship with China?

Bhutan is not Taiwan or Tibet the breakaway/autonomous Provinces of China. Bhutan is a sovereign nation. And today all sovereign nations in the world have diplomatic relationships with China. Can anyone explain why Bhutan does not 
dare to establish diplomatic relationship with her only other immediate neighbour? 
China's relevance to Bhutan is her geographical proximity to Bhutan. Not that China is one of the five permanent members of UN Security Council or economic super power as important as these realities are.

India and China still have unresolved international boundary disputes. But they have diplomatic relation with each other. On the other hand, Sikkim another immediate neighbour of China did not have boundary issues with China. But Sikkim can never have diplomatic relationship with China. Why? The Kingdom of Sikkim was annexed by India in 1974 and is now a state among the Indian Union.

So how is Bhutan's present status any  different from that of Sikkim or Tibet if we dare not have diplomatic relationship with the closest northern neighbour? Bhutan shares a whole length of international boundary with China on three sides.

What does Bhutan fear in establishing diplomatic ties with China?  Annexation by India or simple fear of being overwhelmed by China? Unfounded and unimaginative anxieties only weaken the nation.  Should Bhutan remain forever the soft coy darling of mother India? Skeptics of Bhutan- China relationship may so wish. But then such people are mistakenly looking out more for Indian national interest than that of Bhutan.

Why are we so insecure to act upon our sovereign right?  Is it that we lack the national leadership capacity to handle equal open arms relationship with China? Or we are just too comfortably sunk in the largesse granted by India? Bhutan has to rise up to national responsibility of acting in the manner of a sovereign Kingdom.

From the time of the reign of His Majesty the Third King, I have submitted my hope that Bhutan would be able to achieve a position of true sovereign status by having good relationship with both India and China our immediate neighbours. I believe friendship with India is a must and friendship with China a political necessity 
and economic advantage.

I respect both India and China for their national size and goodwill towards Bhutan. I am not pro or anti China or India. Just an honest Bhutanese citizen adequately concerned to air my views. I do not call for less dealing with India. Just better realistic world wise relationship with China. There maybe individual reasons of self interests in being anti China. But no justifiable national reasons for freezing relationship with China to 1959 era. No modern leader can find a dignified place in modern history if acts and deeds only reflect bygone eras.

Bhutan's strategy in the past was necessarily India dependent. Given the delicate situation in early 1970s after the sudden death of the Third King, it is a political wonder that our Triple Gem 4th King withstood the political hurricanes from the south both from external and within. And still carried out the development plans, political transition and re-negotiation of the 1949 Indo- Bhutan Treaty.

The first national and international act of His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck was to sign that re-negotiated 1949 Indo- Bhutan Treaty. I hope most Bhutanese citizens and especially the Political Parties have taken cognisance of the significance and royal intent for the future role of Bhutan as the sovereign Himalyan Kingdom.

Bhutan is geographically placed to be the most strategic buffer state between China and India. Now it is time for 21st Century Bhutan to capitalise on this gift of geography. Bhutan is land locked. Not strategically shackled. We hold three prominent natural highways from China Tibet to Northern Plains of India and vice versa. It is not for us to play cheap regional politics or take undue advantage of our strategic position. But it is the responsibility of a sovereign nation to demand and secure equal status and respect from both India and China. Just as we respect the might and right of China and India so must they value our strategic position, respect our national aspirations and sovereign dignity. Bhutan holds the key to enduring China- India friendly relationship. But first Bhutanese leaderships must step forward to uphold  their duty to foster sovereign dignity of  

Every nation in the world capatalise on their national assets. Most do so shrewedly, few foolishly. Bhutan is in possession of two national assets. Not materials like gold or petrolium. The geographical strategic position and the Wangchuck Dynasty. At one time in history before Communist Party came to power in China, successful annexation of Bhutan by British India or independant India were possibilties. Thankfully events of history preserved  Bhutan. Now there is no possibility of any outright annexation the Doklam way. Doklam was an unfortunate exercise of immature political leadership of Indian Prime Minister Modiji  giving in to war hawks.  At Doklam the Indian war hawks learnt that India cannot afford the price of annexing Bhutan the military way because the  geographical strategic position of Bhutan is equally crucial to both China and India. Though India took China by surprise at Doklam, China was not unprepared at Arunachal frontier. Occupation of part of  Bhutan was not worth the risk poised to Arunachal Pradesh. Thus the Indian Army withdrawl at Doklam. 

The real danger to Bhutan, therefore,  lies in political subversion the kind like Southern Bhutan Uprisings and ongoing fueling of regional divisions. As long as we have the Wangchuck Kings, it would be very difficult ( not impossible ) for any Political Party or group to barter away Bhutanese sovereigty. In here comes the Chinese equation. Once diplomatic relationship is established with China, it would be impossible to cheat Bhutan of her sovereignty even through political subversion.

The above is the answer to the question some have raised, " why diplomatic relation with China ?".

I have for decades appealed to our successive Kings and Prime Ministers to open up to China whilst naturally strengthening Bhutan- India friendship. " Not now " stand is disastrous national, bilateral and regional politics. We must wake up to reality ! It is not about China or India. Bhutan is our country and dignified relationships with China and India is to our ultimate national interests.     


  1. Aue Wangcha Sangay, I am a frequent visitor to your blog. Your write ups on issues of national importance make sense. However, I wonder if our political leaders have the national interest at heart. For if they do, they would be making the right moves in the interest of our country. Unfortunately, I dont see any positive moves when it comes to foreign policy. Sad. So sad.

  2. Educated BhutaneseJune 13, 2018 at 11:01 AM

    Do shut up you racist old trouble maker. Only the naive pay you any mind. You really do a disservice to Bhutan by spouting your badly written conspiracies and paranoid inferences.

    You hate India. We get it. Bhutan doesn't, and Bhutan is independent. Independent from your armchair pot stirring too! Get over it! You know nothing about the issues that matter. You can only talk racism and xenophobia and false flag nationalism with your small little paper thin walnut of a mind.

    PS: Please stick to Dzongkha as your English is abhorrent.

    Pelden Drukpa Gyalo!

    1. Haha Educated Bhutanese of the third kind. Indian Ass Licker or PDP sponsored BOIC loan receiver. Enjoy free cash aad shut up.

    2. Educated Bhutanese, Did you call Wangcha racist? Do you know how Indian treat people like you look like a Chinese? Do you know how Indian treats the people of North East? or How Indian treats foreigner who are not white in general?

      By the way you must educated in India. You sounds like a BJP stroll full of hatred of anyone who disagree.

    3. 'Educated Bhutanese'? lol, What a clown you are! You couldn't even refute any of the points he raised so you're resorting to ad hominem attacks. So much for your 'education.' lol

    4. Be aware of anonymous users and fake alias comments; if there is something worth saying, say it with full ownership.

      I have not seen any pledges by any candidates from any political party regarding foreign policy, which is very disheartening. I do not care who comes to power or which political party, they all equally lack the nerve to stand to the call of duty.

      We must be weary of petty pledges of 'roads & bridges' or 'power-tiller & jersey cows'. Sure we need them, but all they are doing is intentionally concealing, under guidance of India, the gapping wound in the very fabric of our nation - our foreign policies (border issues, diplomatic relation with China etc.).

      So long as we do not demand to nurse that wound of ours, no amount of trick-or-treats from so called aspiring leader will amount to nothing but collapse of Bhutan.

      Thus, I pray for less political drama, partisanship and short-sightedness from all of us. And for once let us have a true leader, which i doubt is even born.

  3. Sir your write up is very enlighten one la. But we Bhutanese doesn't have luck because PDP party totally becoming blind towards the national sovereign are choosing to run the government. If same thing could be written in Dzongkhag language so more people get educated in diplomatic relation through your article.

  4. If Bhutan is truly a democratic country and the media is truly independent, its time that a such important foreign policy/relation issues must be publicly discussed. At the moment people in power seem to have adopted an attitude "do what India tells us to do and receive what they give us". Just like many other Bhutanese especially the educated lots, I also believe that Bhutan should continue to maintain good relation with India while at the same time develop diplomatic and economic ties with China. This I believe is a reasonable demand of any concerned citizen. However, for some strange reasons our government continue to refuse the hand of friendship from our northern neighbour.

  5. China is a global power now, even US is scared of it. I support Bhutan having a cordial and friendly relationship with China based on mutual respect. China has never caused any trouble to Bhutan although it’s a global power, which means they respect Bhutan. If diplomatic relation with China is kept at hold because it may create trouble, it’s a myth and unfounded. If it really want to create problems to Bhutan, it will do the Russia way in Crimea.
    Nobody is ignoring China then small country like Bhutan, that is foolish.
    We need to have formal relationship with China and like Nepal keep equal distance and closeness between China and India....
    Just my rudimentary thought on this...

  6. I can not believe you said "Mother India"... It must to be a "step" mother.

  7. History is neither sympathetic to buffer states in the Himalayas nor been reprehensive of the grand scheme of assimilation by overbearing neighbors. Shame that people still do not understand why sikkim and tibet ceased to exist as independent nations.there are no champions, only partners in crime

    1. Sikkim does not exist as an independent nation anymore partly because China was weak and was unable to defend its smaller neighbor when India extend its claw on Sikkim. Sikkim was actually briefly overran once by Nepalese in the 17th century and the Sikkim Chogyal went into exile and seek China's help. The Qing dynasty at that time was at the height of its power and the Qianlong emperor dispatched Chinese troops to repel the Nepalese and restore the kingdom of Sikkim. It is most unfortunate that the second time another foreign country invaded Sikkim China was unable to do anything. Although China did speak up on behalf of Sikkim many times after India's 1975 annexation in the United Nation but nobody listen.


      Tibet on the other hand was part of China longer than the United States is a nation.


      The narrative that Tibet was invaded by China is an outright lie supported by no serious scholar. Britian created this lie first because it used to have an empire in South Asia at one time that later spawn the copy cat regime known as India. Tibet was the target of the expansionist Raj. US support this lie because it was fighting Communism and creating and arming the Tibetan insurgencies is a way to weaken China. India perpetuates this lie because it has its own skeleton in the closet with regards to Tibet. And the skeleton is that in 1951, four years after its old imperial master have quit the subcontinent, India finally creeped up to historic Tawang and in one stroke complete the annexation of South Tibet. Tawang is the birthplace of the Sixth Dalai Lama and home to the four hundred years old Tibetan monastery the Golden Namgey Lhatse. In 1987 India renamed South Tibet to the so called Arunachal Pradesh and made it a state. No Chinese government, whether mainland China (People's Republic of China) or its civil war rival Taiwan (Republic of China) ever recognizes the so called Arunachal Pradesh. Today the locals in occupied South Tibet are living under a disgusting law known as the AFSPA (Armed Force Special Power Act). By repeating this lie India put China in the defense and obfuscates the fact that it is India that has invaded and occupy a piece of Tibet.

      China is very sympathic to its smaller neighbors. In fact when China was strong all its smaller neighbors remain independent. It is when China is weak that its smaller neighbors became endangered and cease to exist. Here is another example, the Ryukyu kingdom, long a small kingdom at the periphery of China. The Ryukyu kingdom was annexed by Japan when China became weak and is today known as Okinawa.

    2. Another small country that got annexed when China was weak is Tuva, located at the northern tip of Mongolia (Mongolia was part of the Qing dynasty and as far as Taiwan is concerned, still a part of the Republic of China). Tuva was annexed by Tsarist Russia when China was weak.

  8. If you may allow me to post my comment, i would like to recall the statement made by the present Prime Minister of Bhutan right after coming to power. I can't recollect/quote/reproduce the exact statement. But what he did said was - "There is absolutely no question of Diplomatic relation with China!"

    That was a blatant, undiplomatic statement by a highest leadership to have made such a statement. My initial thought was, what repercussion will that statement have for the future of Bhutan's Sovereignty given the unresolved border dispute that we have with China.

    Hope that we establish diplomatic relation with China sooner rather than latter.

  9. Hello Mr. Wangcha Sangey i am totally agree with you thinking. Nice writing. Thanks man.

  10. Even sworn enemies Pakistan and India have diplomatic relations (they maintain embassy in eachother's country). Then why can't Bhutan establish diplomatic relations with China? Bhutan and China are neighbours. Bhutan should establish diplomatic relations with China ASAP. Bhutan should also establish diplomatic relation with USA.

  11. Good topic and article . I appreciate your useful post , thanks .

  12. Great article and thanks for your work.You made an article that is interesting.