China may push Bhutan for ‘definitive response’ on border dispute

China may be interested in pushing Bhutan into a “definitive response” on the longstanding territorial dispute between the two countries, said former Indian ambassador to China Vijay K. Nambiar Wednesday, while commenting on the MoU signed between Beijing and Thimphu to speed up boundary negotiations.

On 14 October, an MoU titled ‘Three-Step Roadmap for Expediting the Bhutan-China Boundary Negotiations’ on the boundary dispute was signed virtually by Chinese Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao and his Bhutanese counterpart Tandi Dorji.

“Perhaps, it is true that the Chinese may be interested in trying to push them further into some kind of definitive response. That would be expected from them,” said the former diplomat who served as India’s ambassador to China from 1996-2000.

Nambiar was speaking at a webinar hosted by the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) Wednesday on the linkages between the Tawang region in Arunachal Pradesh, and Bhutan. Other panelists included Sonia Shukla, Adjunct Fellow at ICS, and Patricia Uberoi, Honorary Fellow, and ICS Director and former Indian ambassador to China Ashok Kantha.

ThePrint was a digital media partner for the event.

Without explicitly mentioning the India-China border tensions, Nambiar added: “On the other hand, the recent posturing they [China] have been doing on the border will only add to a certain amount of anxiety on the part of the Bhutanese negotiators and perhaps, also kind of a caution not to want the situation to be aggravated.”