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Sikkim Standoff: Bhutan Will Not Accept China's Offer To Ditch India, Know Why

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
1996
| July 11 , 2017 , 08:52 IST

Despite there being no signs that the standoff at the Sikkim border between Indian troops and Chinese forces near the tri-junction area of Doklam is going to fade away, Bhutan is unlikely to accept China's offer to ditch India and settle border issues with China directly. The reasons why Bhutan will not agree to China's proposal go beyond the friendly relations shared between India and Bhutan.

"Bhutan will never go behind India's back. It has as much at risk from the Chinese incursion in Doklam plateau as India," an anonymous Bhutanese analyst was quoted by Times of India as saying.

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"If Chinese troops claim the disputed area, including Doklam, they will be in control of the high mountain ridges. This will put our Haa, Paro and Thimphu valleys within China's artillery range," he said.

If Chinese troops move further, they will be capable of cutting off the 165km road from Bhutan's capital Thimphu to Phuentsholing, the city from where all imports from India, including food, enter from.

China is claiming rights to a 495 square kilometer area in eastern Bhutan along with 286 sq km along the western sector of Bhutan which includes the Doklam Plateau and in return is offering to give up its claims to eastern Bhutan.

Bhutan has refused the offer and is unlikely to accept as giving up Doklam area will allow Chinese troops access to other parts of Bhutan and even put Thimpu, their capital, at risk.

"The attempt by the Chinese is to take as much roads as it can from there to the Indian and Bhutanese borders in the vicinity," Thimphu-based weekly, The Bhutanese, wrote in a commentary.

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"For Bhutan, loss of any territory or incursions into its areas is not welcome as discussed in several past National Assembly sessions, with both pre-democracy Chimis (people's representatives) and the post-democracy MPs from the area bringing up the issue of encroachments from the Chinese side," it said.

In addition, India is financing four major hydroelectricity projects in Bhutan which will bring considerable income to the smaller nation, as India will be both the financer and sole buyer of all the electricity that will be generated.