“India-China relations can’t be normal until…” EAM Jaishankar on border issues
A Chinese readout of the meeting said Bhutan firmly abides by the ‘One China’ principle and stands ready to work with Beijing for an early settlement of the boundary issue and “advance the political process of establishing diplomatic relations”.Bhutan has on several occasions this year said it is very close to resolving its border dispute with China and that it doesn’t have any major problem with Beijing on this issue. The Indian government has been following the negotiations to see if it will have any bearing on the security situation, especially in the context of the sensitive Doklam dispute between China and Bhutan and the determination of the Bhutan-China-India tri-junction in which India is also a stakeholder. India has repeatedly reminded China that, as per a 2012 understanding, the tri-junction boundary points between India, China and third countries has to be finalised in consultation with the countries concerned.
Wang told Dorji, who was on a rare visit to China, that the conclusion of boundary negotiations and establishment of diplomatic tiess fully serve the long-term and fundamental interests of Bhutan.
“China is ready to work with Bhutan in the same direction, seize the historic opportunity, complete this important process as soon as possible, and fix and develop China-Bhutan friendly relations in legal form,” he said.
Beijing quoted Dorji as saying the two countries had enjoyed a traditional friendship and that he thanked China for its strong support and assistance to Bhutan.
Bhutan highly appreciates and supports the three major global initiatives proposed by President Xi Jinping, which have delivered benefits to all parties, especially its neighbours, including Bhutan, said the Chinese foreign ministry.
Wang apparently told Dorji that China respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries and the legitimate aspirations and concerns of small and medium-sized countries. “China will continue to stand firmly on the side of developing countries, shoulder its due international responsibilities, act on true multilateralism, support greater democracy in international relations, and oppose all hegemonic and bullying practices,” he said.
India and Bhutan are the only countries with which China is yet to resolve land boundary disputes. China in recent years has stepped up efforts to establish formal diplomatic ties with Bhutan.