Gangtok: Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said that China has an equal say in solving the six-year-long territorial dispute over the Doklam plateau in Sikkim.

He stated that it is not up to Bhutan alone to solve the problem and that the three countries – China, India, and Bhutan- should discuss it as equals.

This position is different to what he said in 2019 when he argued that “no side” should take any action near the existing trijunction point between the three countries “unilaterally”.

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China has been carrying out construction activity near the Amu Chu river basin adjacent to the Doklam plateau, including building a bridge across the fast-flowing river.

China wants the tri-junction point to be shifted approximately 7 km south of Batang La to a peak called Mount Gipmochi, which would result in the entire Doklam plateau legally becoming a part of China, something that is unacceptable to India.

Tshering has stated that Bhutan is ready to discuss the status of the tri-junction in Doklam as soon as the other two parties are ready, while also downplaying the extent of Chinese intrusions into Bhutanese territories.

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He believes that it is possible to draw a dividing line after one or two more meetings.

India will be watching the negotiations between China and Bhutan closely and will be hoping that its security interests are kept in mind.

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