China has directly violated the agreements of 1988 and 1998, and affected the process of demarcating the border between Bhutan and China, says a press release sent out by Bhutan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs late on Thursday evening.
Firstpost has learnt from sources that the Bhutanese border is on high alert and border security has been tightened amidst growing tensions.
This is perhaps the first time that the mountain country has sent out a strong message against Chinese incursions and claimed the area in question is a disputed one between Bhutan and China.
The government has conveyed China, both on the ground and through diplomatic channel, the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the agreements. Bhutan alleges People’s Liberation Army of constructing a motorable road from Dokala in the Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zompelri on 16 June.
Bhutan and China and both countries have written agreements of 1988 and 1998 stating that the two sides agree to maintain peace and tranquility in their border areas pending a final settlement on the boundary question.
The MFA press release reads:
In view of the many queries raised recently in the media regarding the Bhutan – China boundary in the Doklam area the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to convey the following:
On 16 June, 2017, the Chinese Army started constructing a motorable road from Dokola in the Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zompelri. Boundary talks are ongoing between Bhutan and China and we have written agreements of 1988 and 1998 stating that the two sides agree to maintain peace and tranquility in their border areas pending a final settlement on the boundary question, and to maintain status quo on the boundary as before March 1959. The agreements also state that the two sides will refrain from taking unilateral action, or use of force, to change the status quo of the boundary.
Bhutan has conveyed to the Chinese side, both on the ground and through the diplomatic channel, that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the agreements and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between our two countries. Bhutan hopes that the status quo in the Doklam area will be maintained as before 16 June, 2017.
The country's national newspaper, Kuensel on Friday also reported of the Chinese infringement of the border talk agreement.
PTI reports on Monday cited China accusing Indian troops of trespassing, and threatened to block Nathu La pass, a route used by Indian pilgrims to go to Hindu sites in Tibet and Bhutan. India on the other hand accused China of destroying its bunkers on their side. Following which, army chief General Bipin Rawat visited Gangtok on Thursday during his routine visit post a scuffle between Indian and Chinese troops.
Bhutan and China has held 24 rounds of boundary talks since it began in 1984. Two areas, one in the central northern sector and four in the western sector have been the subject of talks as there are differences in claims in these areas. The disputed area in Pasamlung in the central north comprises of 496 square kilometres. The disputed areas in the western section are Dramana, Charithang, Sinchulung, and Doklam, in the dzongkhags of Haa and Paro.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jun 30, 2017 12:08:50 IST