Guwahati: China and Bhutan are close to resolving their boundary issues and establishing diplomatic relations, according to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
In a meeting with Bhutanese Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji on October 23, Wang said that China is ready to conclude boundary negotiations and establish diplomatic relations with Bhutan as soon as possible.
He urged both sides to seize historical opportunities and complete the important process as soon as possible.
Dorji, for his part, said that Bhutan is willing to work with China to strive for an early settlement of the boundary question and advance the political process of establishing diplomatic ties.
The two countries share a more than 600-kilometre border, with disputed areas mainly located in the western and northern parts.
One of the most contentious areas is the Doklam plateau, which is claimed by both China and Bhutan, with India backing Bhutan’s claim.
In 2021, China and Bhutan signed a three-step roadmap to speed up talks on resolving their border dispute.
However, India is concerned about the negotiations, as they could lead to China gaining control of the Doklam plateau, which would give Beijing a significant strategic advantage over India.
China has reportedly been pushing Bhutan on a package proposal under which Thimphu would hand over Doklam to China in return for Beijing recognizing Bhutan’s control over disputed territory in north-central Bhutan.