Bhutan China To Carry Out Joint Boundary Survey in September
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs Government of Bhutan Press release has indicated that the 21st Round of Border Talks between Bhutan and China held on 22 August 2013 have agreed to conduct Joint Technical Field Survey in the first week of September in Pasamlung area in Bumthang, Central Bhutan. According to the press release the two delegations expressed satisfaction with the talks and reaffirmed their commitment to resolve the boundary at the earliest through mutual consultation, understanding and accommodation on the basis of the Four Guiding Principles agreed to in 1988 and the 1998 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity in the Bhutan-China Border Areas.
The eight-member Chinese delegation was led by Vice Foreign Minister, Liu Zhenmin and the Bhutanese delegation was led by Foreign Minister, Rinzin Dorje. “The Talks were held in a frank and cordial manner. It provided the opportunity for the two sides to better understand each other’s positions on the issues related to boundary and in arriving at an early and amicable settlement of the boundary between the two countries,” the press release stated.
Significantly, Bhutan and India are the only two countries with which China has not resolved land borders. There are two areas of dispute, one falling in North West Bhutan covering 269 sq km and the other Central Bhutan covering 495 sq km. The North West area comprises Doklam (89 sq km), Sinchulumpa (42 Sq km), and Shakhatoe (138 Sq km) in Samste, Haa and Paro districts and Central parts the Pasamlung and the Jakarlung valley in the Wangdue Phodrang district.
Further Reading on Bhutan China boundary issue see India-China-Bhutan Strategic Triangle