Bhutan may come under increased Chinese pressure in comin

NEW DELHI:  India may see Bhutan under increased pressure from China, not only over the Doklam issue but in other respects too, in the coming times.

Moreover, as the establishment here sees it, China may seek closer integration with India’s neighbor to deepen its influence around the country, a latest example of which is the conclusion of a deal with Nepal this week that comes in the midst of the continuing stand off with India.

Beijing has been trying to establish diplomatic relations with Bhutan, and sentiments in Thimpu are not averse to the idea, as reports from the tiny Himalayan Kingdom indicate.

Besides increasing pressure on Bhutan, China may go for more ”incidents” on the border with India in other sectors.

Therefore, the strategists here feel that they have to look at other points more critically than at Doklam, at which India Is physically at an advantageous position.

They say that such kind of more stand offs can take place from June to September at such heights but then afterwards, it becomes difficult for carrying on any activity  once snows start coming.

As per their study, China behaves in different sectors differently.         They feel that Doklam issue was not likely to flare up, but it will certainly be a long-drawn affair.

There have been stand off with China in the past too but this time the difference was that a third country Bhutan was involved, and they tried to change the status quo unilaterally. Moreover, this time China also did not expect India to react to the way it reacted.

However, there was still no clarity as to whether Indian troops went into the Bhutanese territory on invitation of their government or they acted in pursuit of their interest as per the treaty of friendship between the two countries.

Though the revised treaty has rewritten Article 2 which originally said that  Bhutan will be guided by India’s advice while conducting its foreign policy, it still says that ”Neither Government shall allow the use of its territory for activities harmful to the national security and interest of the other.”

” In keeping with the abiding ties of close friendship and cooperation between Bhutan and India, the Government of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the Government of the Republic of India shall cooperate closely with each other on issues relating to their national interests,” the revised language of Article 2 says.

At the moment there is no ”existential” threat to the chicken neck, or the Silliguri corridor, which is a  200 km long and 60 km wide strip of land connecting the North-East with the rest of the country, the stoppage of China’s road construction work in Doklam was a must for closing future options of PLA, the defence establishment feels. (AGENCIES)


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