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China Pressuring Bhutan To Change Stand On Doklam, Claims Report

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China Pressuring Bhutan To Change Stand On Doklam, Claims Report

THIMPHU: Bhutan is being “heavily pressurized by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)” to change its stand on Doklam, according to a Delhi-based foreign policy think tank Red Lantern Analytica (RLA). “Bhutan, who even agreed to coordinate its foreign policy with that of India, under agreements like the Friendship Treaty, is now being heavily pressurized by the CCP to change its stand owing to which Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, recently made claims stating that ‘China has equal stake in Doklam dispute’ as it is not up to Bhutan alone to resolve the Doklam dispute and that all three countries – Bhutan, India and China are equal stakeholders,” read an RLA statement.

Doklam is a disputed area between India, Bhutan and China. The Doklam plateau issue rose to the limelight in 2017 when under the CCP`s leadership, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and road-building equipment, began extending an existing road southward in Doklam.China claims the entire Doklam plateau while India maintains the dignity of historical treaties, as per Red Lantern Analytica.

According to the think tank, China has been toying with Bhutan`s sovereignty and territorial integrity for decades, sometimes by showing large parts of Bhutan as part of China in Chinese maps, sometimes by building heavy infrastructure in Bhutan`s territory, but mostly by trying to construct illegal sites in the disputed areas.

Though it might look like Bhutan has limited options when it comes to stopping China`s increasing encroachment on Bhutan`s territory, it is important for the country not to get lured by the cheesy words of the CCP and take a pacifist stand, as taking Side with China just might fetch the exact opposite outcome, according to RLA.

The think tank said that Bhutan should not fall into the trap of China`s dubious claims and reciprocate with gusto which India has always shown in trying to resolve Bhutan’s conflicts with China. Bhutan should take its own clear stand on the issue while being uninfluenced by China. According to RLA, the Doklam issue is a sensitive geopolitical issue of which Bhutan is an indispensable part; therefore, Prime Minister Lotay Tshering must take into consideration the interests of both India and Bhutan before caving into the whims and fancies of the CCP.

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