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Why Bhutan won't ditch India and compromise with China?

11 Jul 2017 | By Abheet Sethi

It is unlikely that Bhutan will enter into a compromise with China and settle its border problems by ditching India.

A Bhutanese analyst said his country is "as much at risk from the Chinese incursion in Doklam plateau as India," referring to the site of the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops near Sikkim.

"Bhutan will never go behind India's back," the analyst added.

In context: Why Bhutan 'won't go behind India's back'

10 Jul 2017#SikkimStandoff: Chinese expert warns 'third country's' troops could enter Kashmir

A Chinese analyst argued in an article in the state-owned Global Times that a "third country's" army could enter Kashmir on Pakistan's request.

The analyst said he's using the "same logic" as the Indian Army while stopping the Chinese military from constructing a road in Doklam, near Sikkim, on Bhutan's behalf.

He said India's actions should be limited to Bhutanese territory, not disputed areas.

11 Jul 2017Why Bhutan won't ditch India and compromise with China?

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China's contentious offer for Bhutanese territory

China claims 495 sq. km of eastern Bhutan and 286 sq. km in the western sector, including the Doklam Plateau, as its territory. China had at one point offered to give up territorial claims over the eastern Bhutan in exchange for the Doklam plateau.

DetailsWhy Bhutan rejected China's offer?

Bhutan didn't accept the offer as Beijing's control over Doklam and other high mountain ridges would give Chinese troops access to other parts of the country.

It would place the Bhutanese capital Thimpu within range of Chinese artillery and possibly block the 165-km road connecting it to Phuentsholing city, a gateway to Indian imports,

It would give Chinese troops a commanding position against India.

China has been irked by Bhutan's growing closeness to India

India's relations with Bhutan remain strong. India is financing four major hydro-electric projects in Bhutan and will be the sole buyer of Bhutanese electricity. This will bring great wealth to Bhutan and benefit India. China feels threatened by their growing closeness.