Tshering Palden 

Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji and the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wu Jianghao signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a Three-Step Roadmap to expedite the Bhutan-China boundary negotiations yesterday. The two sides had agreed on the Three-Step Roadmap at the 10th Expert Group Meeting held in Kunming, China in April this year.

Officials from the foreign ministry said that the Three-Step Roadmap is a positive development in the boundary talks between Bhutan and China and that it will help the two sides to have more focused and systematic discussions on the boundary issues towards bringing the boundary negotiations to a successful conclusion that is acceptable to both governments.

Earlier, the two countries signed the Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the Boundary in 1988 and the Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace,  

Tranquility and Status Quo in the Bhutan-China Border Areas in 1998. The boundary talks between Bhutan and China began in 1984. The two sides have so far held 24 rounds of boundary talks and 10 rounds of meeting at the expert group level.

According to the foreign ministry, the talks have been always guided by the 1988 Guiding Principles and the 1998 Agreement and have always been held in a frank and friendly atmosphere.

“The MoU on the Three-Step Roadmap will provide a fresh impetus to the Boundary Talks,” a press release from the foreign ministry stated.

Senior officials from the foreign ministry and international boundaries secretariat were present at the signing.